During the past two decades approximately one half of all deaths in Canada were due to cardiovascular diseases. Ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease caused more than 60% and 20% of those deaths respectively. The mortality rates for ischemic heart disease in males increased slightly until 1965 and then dropped substantially, whereas the rates for females, which were declining at least since the early 1960s, accelerated in their decline. As a consequence, the rates for males remain almost twice as high as those for females. The reductions were initially observed in males 25 to 34 years old and in all age groups of females, but became apparent in a wider range of ages in the second period reviewed (1969 through 1977). The mortality of cerebrovascular disease has gradually diminished for both sexes since the 1950s, but the decline has been more pronounced among females, who originally had the higher rate. Marked geographic differences in mortality rates still exist in Canada despite the decline in death rates for both ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease in all regions of the country. Surprising regional differences in times of onset of these declines have been demonstrated. For ischemic heart disease Ontario maintains the highest and the Prairies the lowest mortality rates. Quebec, despite a sustained decline, still ranks third, while the Pacific region shows the second-lowest rates in the country. The Atlantic region showed the lowest rates of decline in the period reviewed. The reduction in the mortality of ischemic heart disease in Canada (16.4% between 1969 and 1977) must be considered real for a variety of reasons. Direct evidence is not available to elucidate whether the reduction is the consequence of reduced incidence, increased survival or a combination of the two factors. The potential role of various factors that may have contributed to this decline is briefly discussed in this article.
Cites: Prev Med. 1975 Jun;4(2):115-251153392
Cites: Can Med Assoc J. 1977 Dec 17;117(12):1383-6589537