While heart disease remains the leading cause of death in Europe, mortality rates are falling in most (but not all) countries, according to new findings released by the EuroHeart mapping project.(1) However, this detailed research, part of a three-year programme to analyse cardiovascular health and prevention policies in 16 European countries, also reveals huge inequalities among countries both in the rate of cardiovascular mortality and in national prevention programmes.
- Highest rates of mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) in men under 65 were found in Hungary (105 per 100,000 population), Estonia (104), Slovakia (74), Greece (50), Finland (48) and UK (44).
- Highest rates for women under 65 were found in Hungary (28), Estonia (20), Slovakia (19), UK (11), Greece (10) and Belgium (9).
- Lowest rates for men under 65 were found in France (17), Netherlands (22), Italy (25) and Norway (27).
- Lowest rates for women under 65 were found in Iceland (3), France (3), Slovenia (5) and Italy (5).
This pattern was also reflected (though not exactly mirrored) in risk factor prevalence, where, for example, Greece (46%), Estonia (42%), Slovakia (41%), Germany (37%) and Hungary (37%) had the highest rates of cigarette smoking.
Hungary and Estonia have a lot of unhealthy people. The Greeks need to stop smoking themselves to death.
The Finns have made big improvements in lowering coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality. Whereas Greece is losing ground. My guess: part of this is due to fewer Greeks eating the Mediterranean diet.
There are also noticeable differences in trends in CHD mortality; in Finland mortality rates from CHD declined by 76% from 1972 to 2005; in the same period in Greece, mortality rates for CHD increased by 11%. In nine of the 16 EuroHeart countries, the trends in CHD death rates in women show that they have declined less than in men.
Europe is clearly lagging the United States in turning away from the demon weed. Kentucky has the highest incidence of smoking at 28.3% in 2007 with Utah's Mormons living a pure life at only 11.7% but the US Virgin Islands at 8.7% even beat Utah. Good for those Virgin Islanders. The Virgin Islands, center of heart-healthy living. Who knew?
In 2007, the median prevalence of adult current smoking in the 50 states and DC was 19.8%. Among states, current smoking prevalence was highest in Kentucky (28.3%), West Virginia (27.0%), and Oklahoma (25.8%); and lowest in Utah (11.7%), California (14.3%), and Connecticut (15.5%). Smoking prevalence was 8.7% in USVI, 12.2% in PR, and 31.1% in Guam. Median smoking prevalence among the 50 states and DC was 21.3% (range: 15.5%-28.8%) for men and 18.4% (range: 8.0%-27.8%) for women. Men had a significantly higher prevalence of smoking than women in 30 states, DC, and all three territories.
National smoking numbers for the United States show a higher rate for ages 18-24 than for the adult population overall. So then has the decline in smoking bottomed out?
Smokers need another drug that gives them as much nerve calming but without the cardiovascular damage.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 September 09 08:20 PM Aging Cardiovascular Studies|