Is the recent decline in coronary heart disease mortality in the United States attributable to lower rates of influenza and pneumonia?

Richard Cooper*, Yi Tsong, Ron Hoeksema, Kiang Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

A downturn in coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in the United States has been observed since 1968, and an acceleration in the long-term decline in stroke deaths began in the early 1970s. In considering the causes of this secular trend, attention has been drawn to the parallel downturn in deaths from influenza and pneumonia. The slope of the downward trend for the cardiovascular causes in the summer equals that of the winter, when the potential impact of a decrease in respiratory infection would be greatest. In addition, trends in the death rate from influenza and pneumonia tended to lag behind that of CHD and stroke, in relation to each of the four sex-race groups, the magnitude of the slope of the mortality curve, and the month-by-month variation. Although cause and effect relationships cannot be defined from vital statistics alone, it would appear that the decline in cardiovascular diseases has been the primary phenomenon, reducing the number of persons in the population susceptible to respiratory infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-568
Number of pages10
JournalPreventive medicine
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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