Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the underlying cause 1.6 million deaths per year in the Americas, accounting for 30% of total mortality and 38% of by non-communicable deaths diseases (NCDs). A 25% reduction in premature mortality due four main NCDs was targeted by the 2011 High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs. While overall CVD mortality fell in the Americas during the past decade, trends in premature CVD mortality during the same period have not been described, particularly in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Methods: This is a population-based trend-series study based on a total of 6,133,666 deaths to describe the trends and characteristics of premature mortality due to CVD and to estimates of the average annual percentage of change during the period 2000-2010 in the Americas.
Findings: Premature mortality due to CVD in the Americas fell by 21% in the period 2000-2010 with a -2.5% average annual rate of change in the last 5 year-a statistically significant reduction of mortality-. Mortality from ischemic diseases, declined by 25% - 24% among men and 26% among women. Cerebrovascular diseases declined by 27% -26% among men and 28% among women. Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Brazil had CVD premature mortality rates over 200 per 100,000 population, while the average for the Region was 132.7. US and Canada will meet the 25% reduction target before 2025. Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Panama, Guyana, and El Salvador did not significantly reduce premature mortality among men and Guyana, the Dominican Republic, and Panama did not achieve the required annual reduction in women.
Conclusions: Trends in premature mortality due to CVD observed in last decade in the Americas would indicate that if these trends continue, the Region as a whole and a majority of its countries will be able to reach the goal of a 25% relative reduction in premature mortality even before 2025.