Coronary heart disease: from a disease of middle-aged men in the late 1970s to a disease of elderly women in the 2000s

Eur Heart J. 2006 Feb;27(3):296-301. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehi630. Epub 2005 Nov 11.


Aims: To analyse secular changes in the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and to assess changes in the burden of CHD at population level.

Methods and results: Data were used from two large cross-sectional health examination surveys representing the entire Finnish adult population in 1980 and 2000. In the 1978-80 survey, the sample covered 5101 individuals aged > or =45, of whom 88% participated. The 2000-2001 survey comprised 5310 individuals in the same age range. Participation rate in the health examination was 87%. Prevalence of CHD decreased in men and women under the age of 65 and increased among those aged > or =75. Prevalence of large Q-waves indicating previous myocardial infarction decreased in all male age groups and in women aged 65-74. The total estimated number of persons with CHD increased by 18% (95% CI=6-30) during the past 20 years in Finland. In 1980, the most dominant CHD group was men aged 45-64, whereas in 2000, women aged > or =75 comprised the largest CHD group.

Conclusion: Although the prevalence of CHD has decreased among middle-aged persons, the number of CHD cases has increased during the past 20 years in Finland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution