The decline in ischemic heart disease mortality: prospective evidence from the Alameda County Study.
ABSTRACT The contribution of secular changes in the distribution of ischemic heart disease risk factors and medical care utilization to the decline in ischemic heart disease mortality was investigated using data collected on the nine-year ischemic heart disease mortality experience of two cohorts selected to be representative of Alameda County, California, in 1965 and 1974. With adjustment for age, sex, race, and baseline ischemic heart disease conditions and symptoms, there was a 45% decline in the nine-year odds of ischemic heart disease mortality between the two cohorts (1965/1974, odds ratio (OR) = 1.82, p = 0.0001). Further adjustment for cohort differences in the following ischemic heart disease risk factors did not explain the decline: smoking status, leisure-time physical activity, self-assessed physical activity, alcohol consumption, body mass index, or social network participation; neither did adjustment for measures of education, utilization of preventive medical care, availability of a regular physician or clinic, health insurance coverage, number of physician visits during the last 12 months, or occupation. There was no change in the estimated ischemic heart disease decline when all adjustment variables were included in a logistic model (1965/1974, OR = 1.81, p = 0.0002). These variables do not appear to explain the large decline in nine-year ischemic heart disease mortality between these two cohorts.
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ABSTRACT: Because it still is widely believed that one deadly disease after another is being eliminated, or diminished, largely because of medical interventions, there is little commitment to social change and even resistance to a reordering of national priorities. In this article we examine the contribution of medical measures to recent mortality changes in coronary heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which together account for two-thirds of total U.S. mortality and consume the vast majority of available resources. Morbidity changes are also examined and found to be not declining in a manner congruent with mortality and, in fact, increasing for some subgroups. Using a combined measure of mortality and morbidity (the probability of a life free of disability), it is demonstrated that although overall life expectancy has increased over several decades, most of this increase is in years of disability. Our late 20th century approach to the emerging AIDS pandemic (the frantic search for a "magic bullet"--either a treatment or a vaccine) belies any suggestion that the arguments and data presented concerning the modest contribution of medical measures are now passé.International Journal of Health Services 02/1989; 19(2):181-208. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis and osteoporosis are currently considered unrelated diseases. Osteoporosis involves bone calcium (Ca) loss and predominantly affects females after menopause. Atherosclerosis is an illness predominantly affecting males, and is primarily characterized by abnormal lipid metabolism. However, pathological calcification of the arterial wall is an underlying feature of atherosclerosis. Ca homeostasis is thus important in atherosclerosis as well as in osteoporosis. Men also develop osteoporosis although at a later age than women, and, as osteoporosis progresses in women, there is an accompanying calcification of arteries leading to increased incidence of atherosclerosis in aging women. Thus, during old age, both atherosclerosis and osteoporosis are prevalent in both males and females. The dramatic increase in atherosclerosis among women as they develop osteoporosis suggests that the two illnesses may be more closely related than previously realized. The use of vitamin D as a food supplement coincides with epidemic onsets of atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, and excess vitamin D induces both conditions in humans and laboratory animals. These observations suggest a role for chronic vitamin D excess in the etiology of the two illnesses. Magnesium (Mg) deficiency, nicotine, and high dietary cholesterol are contributing factors that accentuate adverse effects of vitamin D.Journal of the American College of Nutrition 11/1992; 11(5):567-83. · 1.74 Impact Factor