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Age-specific trends in cardiovascular mortality rates in Australia between 1980 and 2005

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-04-01, 00:00 authored by Kathryn BackholerKathryn Backholer, Christopher StevensonChristopher Stevenson, W Nusselder, E Boyko, L Moon, A Tonkin, A Peeters
Aim: Recent analyses suggest the decline in coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality rates is slowing in younger age groups in countries such as the UK and US. We aimed to assess recent mortality rate trends in all circulatory disease and its subtypes in Australia.

Methods: Annual all circulatory, CHD, and cerebrovascular disease mortality rates between 1980 and 2005 for Australia were analysed. Data were stratified by sex and ten-year age group (age 35 to 85+). The annual rate of change and significant changes in trends were identified using joinpoint Poisson regression.

Results: Age standardised all circulatory disease mortality rates continue to decline in Australia, falling from 441 per 100,000 in 1980 to 145 per 100,000 in 2005 for males and from 264 per 100,000 to 96 per 100,000 for females. The rate of decline from both CHD and cerebrovascular disease appears to be stable or accelerating for individuals aged 55 years and over. However, the decline in young men and women aged 35-54 years is slowing for CHD and cerebrovascular disease mortality alike (except cerebrovascular disease mortality in males aged 35-44). For females aged 35-44 and 45-54 there has been no change in the cerebrovascular mortality rate since 1993 and 1999, respectively.

Conclusions: In Australia, whilst in older adults the decline in cardiovascular mortality rates is generally accelerating, in younger adults it appears to be slowing. It will be important to identify the causes of these trends.



Australasian epidemiologist






33 - 37


Australasian Epidemiological Association


Parkville, Vic.





Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Australasian Epidemiological Association