Wednesday , August 17 2022

Long-term declines in heart disease and stroke are dead – ScienceDaily



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Heart disease and stroke death rates have almost stopped falling in many high-income countries, including Australia, and are even increasing in some countries, according to new research.

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have been analyzing trends in cardiovascular disease – which consists mainly of heart disease and stroke – in 23 high-income countries since 2000.

Researchers have found that rates of fatal cardiovascular disease for people aged 35 to 74 are now barely declining or increasing in 12 of the 23 countries.

In the United States and for Canadian females, the rate of cardiovascular disease has increased in the most recent year, while in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand the annual decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease is now only 20 to 50 percent of what they were in. the 2000s.

University of Melbourne expert on the global burden of disease Alan Lopez said research suggests that obesity, or at least a bad diet, may have been a major contributor to slowing the decline in cardiovascular disease.

"Each of these countries has very high levels of obesity. In Australia, almost one third of adults are obese," Professor Lopez said.

"These increases in obesity levels mean that a significant portion of the population has been exposed to the risks of cardiovascular disease associated with being overweight for several decades."

However, obesity is just one of many risk factors for cardiovascular disease – others include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Researchers have found obesity levels are low in Italy and France, where the decline in cardiovascular disease in recent years is among the most noticeable of all countries.

Tim Adair, a research fellow and co-author of the University of Melbourne, said the research shows that the impact of successful public health interventions on cardiovascular disease over the past 50 years is diminishing.

"To combat this, there is a need for major investment in preventive health measures, especially those aimed at increasing physical activity, improving diet and reducing obesity," Dr Adair said.

"Failure to address these problems could confirm the end of the long-term decline in deaths from cardiovascular disease and threaten future gains in life expectancy."

This research is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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Materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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