Objectives: To describe trends in the prevalence of angina pectoris in northern Sweden, between 1986 and 1994.
Design: Cross-sectional population studies.
Setting: Northern Sweden MONICA Project in Norrbotten and Västerbotten counties, Sweden.
Subjects: Randomly selected men and women in the age group 35-64 years, total of 2459 men and women.
Main outcome measures: Comparison of the prevalence of angina pectoris in 1986 and 1994 as measured by the Rose questionnaire.
Results: The proportion with a history of myocardial infarction decreased amongst the participants from 4.6% to 2.0% (P < 0.001) between 1986 and 1994. The prevalence of angina pectoris in men was essentially unchanged (3.4% in 1986 to 3.1% in 1994 (chi2 = 0.02; P = 0.87), whereas it declined significantly in women from 5. 9% to 2.8% (chi2 = 6.32; P = 0.01). In both men and women, the highest prevalence of Rose-positive persons was found in the oldest age group. In 1986 the Rose-positive subgroup had a significantly higher proportion with high cholesterol (>/=6.5 mmol L-1) as compared with the Rose-negative subgroup, 64% vs. 48% (chi2 = 5.04; P = 0.02). In both surveys high blood pressure was more common in the Rose-positive group (1986: chi2 = 13.2; P < 0.001 and 1994: chi2 = 9.8; P = 0.002).
Conclusions: In women, but not in men, the prevalence of angina pectoris decreased significantly between 1986 and 1994. During the same time period the proportion of people with high cholesterol decreased in northern Sweden. In both surveys, individuals with angina pectoris had more frequent hypertension.