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Heart disease on the rise among women

Friday, November 23, 2007
Time: 12:14 PM

With heart disease still the number one killer among men and women in this country, a new study release this week by the American College of Cardiology is very troubling for females aged 35-54.
The year by year figures also looked good overall. Death rates from heart disease among men declined, on average, by 2.9 per cent a year during the 1980s, by 2.6 per cent a year in the 1990s, and 4.4 per cent a year in 2000 to 2002. Among women too, the overall picture showed a gradual year on year decline: the average annual death rate went down by 2.6, 2.4 and 4.4 per cent in those same periods.

The not so good story, however, emerged when the researchers broke the figures down by age.

For men aged 35 to 54 the average yearly death rate from heart disease went down by 6.2 per cent in the 1980s, slowed to 2.3 per cent in the 1990s, and reached a near plateau of 0.5 per cent annual reduction between 2000 and 2002.

For women aged 35 to 54 the news is worse. The average annual decline in deaths due to heart disease fell by 5.4 per cent in the 1980s, slowed to 1.2 per cent in the 1990s, and actually rose again by an annual average of 1.5 per cent during 2000 to 2002. However, the increase was not statistically significant and all that can be said with confidence is that the figures have leveled off.

However, among the younger women, aged 35 to 44, there was an average annual rise in heart disease deaths of 1.3 per cent during 1997 to 2002, and this figure was shown to be statistically significant, so the researchers can say with more confidence that there appears to be a worrying rising trend among female adult Americans in their late 30s and early 40s, of deaths due to heart disease.
You might be saying "what does this have to do with Danbury?" Well, Hat city is home to one of the leading cardiothoracic surgons in Connecticut, Danbury Hospital's Dr. Cary Passik. Recently on FOX61, Dr. Passik gave his opinion on the study's findings.


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