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1.  Prevention of Diabetes in Rural India with a Telemedicine Intervention 
Background
Diabetes care is not presently available, accessible, or affordable to people living in rural areas in developing countries, such as India. The Chunampet Rural Diabetes Prevention Project (CRDPP) was conceived with the aim of implementing comprehensive diabetes screening, prevention, and treatment using a combination of telemedicine and personalized care in rural India.
Methods
This project was undertaken in a cluster of 42 villages in and around the Chunampet village in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. A telemedicine van was used to screen for diabetes and its complications using retinal photography, Doppler imaging, biothesiometry, and electrocardiography using standardized techniques. A rural diabetes center was set up to provide basic diabetes care.
Results
Of the total 27,014 adult population living in 42 villages, 23,380 (86.5%) were screened for diabetes, of which 1138 (4.9%) had diabetes and 3410 (14.6%) had prediabetes. A total of 1001 diabetes subjects were screened for complications (response rate of 88.0%). Diabetic retinopathy was detected in 18.2%, neuropathy in 30.9%, microalbuminuria in 24.3%, peripheral vascular disease in 7.3%, and coronary artery disease in 10.8%. The mean hemoglobin A1c levels among the diabetes subjects in the whole community decreased from 9.3 ± 2.6% to 8.5 ± 2.4% within 1 year. Less than 5% of patients needed referral for further management to the tertiary diabetes hospital in Chennai.
Conclusions
The Chunampet Rural Diabetes Prevention Project is a successful model for screening and for delivery of diabetes health care and prevention to underserved rural areas in developing countries such as India.
PMCID: PMC3570875  PMID: 23294780
Asian Indians; diabetes; prevention; rural; south Asians; telemedicine
2.  Using Social Network Analysis to Identify Key Child Care Center Staff for Obesity Prevention Interventions: A Pilot Study 
Journal of Obesity  2013;2013:919287.
Introduction. Interest has grown in how systems thinking could be used in obesity prevention. Relationships between key actors, represented by social networks, are an important focus for considering intervention in systems. Method. Two long day care centers were selected in which previous obesity prevention programs had been implemented. Measures showed ways in which physical activity and dietary policy are conversations and actions transacted through social networks (interrelationships) within centers, via an eight item closed-ended social network questionnaire. Questionnaire data were collected from (17/20; response rate 85%) long day care center staff. Social network density and centrality statistics were calculated, using UCINET social network software, to examine the role of networks in obesity prevention. Results. “Degree” (influence) and “betweeness” (gatekeeper) centrality measures of staff inter-relationships about physical activity, dietary, and policy information identified key players in each center. Network density was similar and high on some relationship networks in both centers but markedly different in others, suggesting that the network tool identified unique center social dynamics. These differences could potentially be the focus of future team capacity building. Conclusion. Social network analysis is a feasible and useful method to identify existing obesity prevention networks and key personnel in long day care centers.
doi:10.1155/2013/919287
PMCID: PMC3748770  PMID: 23986867
3.  An analysis of potential barriers and enablers to regulating the television marketing of unhealthy foods to children at the state government level in Australia 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:1123.
Background
In Australia there have been many calls for government action to halt the effects of unhealthy food marketing on children's health, yet implementation has not occurred. The attitudes of those involved in the policy-making process towards regulatory intervention governing unhealthy food marketing are not well understood. The objective of this research was to understand the perceptions of senior representatives from Australian state and territory governments, statutory authorities and non-government organisations regarding the feasibility of state-level government regulation of television marketing of unhealthy food to children in Australia.
Method
Data from in-depth semi-structured interviews with senior representatives from state and territory government departments, statutory authorities and non-government organisations (n=22) were analysed to determine participants' views about regulation of television marketing of unhealthy food to children at the state government level. Data were analysed using content and thematic analyses.
Results
Regulation of television marketing of unhealthy food to children was supported as a strategy for obesity prevention. Barriers to implementing regulation at the state level were: the perception that regulation of television advertising is a Commonwealth, not state/territory, responsibility; the power of the food industry and; the need for clear evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of regulation. Evidence of community support for regulation was also cited as an important factor in determining feasibility.
Conclusions
The regulation of unhealthy food marketing to children is perceived to be a feasible strategy for obesity prevention however barriers to implementation at the state level exist. Those involved in state-level policy making generally indicated a preference for Commonwealth-led regulation. This research suggests that implementation of regulation of the television marketing of unhealthy food to children should ideally occur under the direction of the Commonwealth government. However, given that regulation is technically feasible at the state level, in the absence of Commonwealth action, states/territories could act independently. The relevance of our findings is likely to extend beyond Australia as unhealthy food marketing to children is a global issue.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1123
PMCID: PMC3572413  PMID: 23272940
Unhealthy food; Regulation; Government; Children; Marketing; Advertising
4.  Quantifying Urbanization as a Risk Factor for Noncommunicable Disease 
The aim of this study was to investigate the poorly understood relationship between the process of urbanization and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Sri Lanka using a multicomponent, quantitative measure of urbanicity. NCD prevalence data were taken from the Sri Lankan Diabetes and Cardiovascular Study, comprising a representative sample of people from seven of the nine provinces in Sri Lanka (n = 4,485/5,000; response rate = 89.7%). We constructed a measure of the urban environment for seven areas using a 7-item scale based on data from study clusters to develop an “urbanicity” scale. The items were population size, population density, and access to markets, transportation, communications/media, economic factors, environment/sanitation, health, education, and housing quality. Linear and logistic regression models were constructed to examine the relationship between urbanicity and chronic disease risk factors. Among men, urbanicity was positively associated with physical inactivity (odds ratio [OR] = 3.22; 2.27–4.57), high body mass index (OR = 2.45; 95% CI, 1.88–3.20) and diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.44; 95% CI, 1.66–3.57). Among women, too, urbanicity was positively associated with physical inactivity (OR = 2.29; 95% CI, 1.64–3.21), high body mass index (OR = 2.92; 95% CI, 2.41–3.55), and diabetes mellitus (OR = 2.10; 95% CI, 1.58 – 2.80). There is a clear relationship between urbanicity and common modifiable risk factors for chronic disease in a representative sample of Sri Lankan adults.
doi:10.1007/s11524-011-9586-1
PMCID: PMC3191205  PMID: 21638117
Urbanization; Noncommunicable disease; Sri Lanka
5.  Regulation to Create Environments Conducive to Physical Activity: Understanding the Barriers and Facilitators at the Australian State Government Level 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e42831.
Introduction
Policy and regulatory interventions aimed at creating environments more conducive to physical activity (PA) are an important component of strategies to improve population levels of PA. However, many potentially effective policies are not being broadly implemented. This study sought to identify potential policy/regulatory interventions targeting PA environments, and barriers/facilitators to their implementation at the Australian state/territory government level.
Methods
In-depth interviews were conducted with senior representatives from state/territory governments, statutory authorities and non-government organisations (n = 40) to examine participants': 1) suggestions for regulatory interventions to create environments more conducive to PA; 2) support for preselected regulatory interventions derived from a literature review. Thematic and constant comparative analyses were conducted.
Results
Policy interventions most commonly suggested by participants fell into two areas: 1) urban planning and provision of infrastructure to promote active travel; 2) discouraging the use of private motorised vehicles. Of the eleven preselected interventions presented to participants, interventions relating to walkability/cycling and PA facilities received greatest support. Interventions involving subsidisation (of public transport, PA-equipment) and the provision of more public transport infrastructure received least support. These were perceived as not economically viable or unlikely to increase PA levels. Dominant barriers were: the powerful ‘road lobby’, weaknesses in the planning system and the cost of potential interventions. Facilitators were: the provision of evidence, collaboration across sectors, and synergies with climate change/environment agendas.
Conclusion
This study points to how difficult it will be to achieve policy change when there is a powerful ‘road lobby’ and government investment prioritises road infrastructure over PA-promoting infrastructure. It highlights the pivotal role of the planning and transport sectors in implementing PA-promoting policy, however suggests the need for clearer guidelines and responsibilities for state and local government levels in these areas. Health outcomes need to be given more direct consideration and greater priority within non-health sectors.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042831
PMCID: PMC3459936  PMID: 23028434
6.  Consumption patterns of sweet drinks in a population of Australian children and adolescents (2003–2008) 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:771.
Background
Intake of sweet drinks has previously been associated with the development of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents. The present study aimed to assess the consumption pattern of sweet drinks in a population of children and adolescents in Victoria, Australia.
Methods
Data on 1,604 children and adolescents (4–18 years) from the comparison groups of two quasi-experimental intervention studies from Victoria, Australia were analysed. Sweet drink consumption (soft drink and fruit juice/cordial) was assessed as one day’s intake and typical intake over the last week or month at two time points between 2003 and 2008 (mean time between measurement: 2.2 years).
Results
Assessed using dietary recalls, more than 70% of the children and adolescents consumed sweet drinks, with no difference between age groups (p = 0.28). The median intake among consumers was 500 ml and almost a third consumed more than 750 ml per day. More children and adolescents consumed fruit juice/cordial (69%) than soft drink (33%) (p < 0.0001) and in larger volumes (median intake fruit juice/cordial: 500 ml and soft drink: 375 ml). Secular changes in sweet drink consumption were observed with a lower proportion of children and adolescents consuming sweet drinks at time 2 compared to time 1 (significant for age group 8 to <10 years, p = 0.001).
Conclusion
The proportion of Australian children and adolescents from the state of Victoria consuming sweet drinks has been stable or decreasing, although a high proportion of this sample consumed sweet drinks, especially fruit juice/cordial at both time points.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-771
PMCID: PMC3549827  PMID: 22966937
Sweet beverages; Soft drink; Children and adolescents
7.  The development and validation of an urbanicity scale in a multi-country study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:530.
Background
Although urban residence is consistently identified as one of the primary correlates of non-communicable disease in low- and middle-income countries, it is not clear why or how urban settings predispose individuals and populations to non-communicable disease (NCD), or how this relationship could be modified to slow the spread of NCD. The urban–rural dichotomy used in most population health research lacks the nuance and specificity necessary to understand the complex relationship between urbanicity and NCD risk. Previous studies have developed and validated quantitative tools to measure urbanicity continuously along several dimensions but all have been isolated to a single country. The purposes of this study were 1) To assess the feasibility and validity of a multi-country urbanicity scale; 2) To report some of the considerations that arise in applying such a scale in different countries; and, 3) To assess how this scale compares with previously validated scales of urbanicity.
Methods
Household and community-level data from the Young Lives longitudinal study of childhood poverty in 59 communities in Ethiopia, India and Peru collected in 2006/2007 were used. Household-level data include parents’ occupations and education level, household possessions and access to resources. Community-level data include population size, availability of health facilities and types of roads. Variables were selected for inclusion in the urbanicity scale based on inspection of the data and a review of literature on urbanicity and health. Seven domains were constructed within the scale: Population Size, Economic Activity, Built Environment, Communication, Education, Diversity and Health Services.
Results
The scale ranged from 11 to 61 (mean 35) with significant between country differences in mean urbanicity; Ethiopia (30.7), India (33.2), Peru (39.4). Construct validity was supported by factor analysis and high corrected item-scale correlations suggest good internal consistency. High agreement was observed between this scale and a dichotomized version of the urbanicity scale (Kappa 0.76; Spearman’s rank-correlation coefficient 0.84 (p < 0.0001). Linear regression of socioeconomic indicators on the urbanicity scale supported construct validity in all three countries (p < 0.05).
Conclusions
This study demonstrates and validates a robust multidimensional, multi-country urbanicity scale. It is an important step on the path to creating a tool to assess complex processes like urbanization. This scale provides the means to understand which elements of urbanization have the greatest impact on health.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-530
PMCID: PMC3554435  PMID: 22818019
8.  What is the optimal level of population alcohol consumption for chronic disease prevention in England? Modelling the impact of changes in average consumption levels 
BMJ Open  2012;2(3):e000957.
Objective
To estimate the impact of achieving alternative average population alcohol consumption levels on chronic disease mortality in England.
Design
A macro-simulation model was built to simultaneously estimate the number of deaths from coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertensive disease, diabetes, liver cirrhosis, epilepsy and five cancers that would be averted or delayed annually as a result of changes in alcohol consumption among English adults. Counterfactual scenarios assessed the impact on alcohol-related mortalities of changing (1) the median alcohol consumption of drinkers and (2) the percentage of non-drinkers.
Data sources
Risk relationships were drawn from published meta-analyses. Age- and sex-specific distributions of alcohol consumption (grams per day) for the English population in 2006 were drawn from the General Household Survey 2006, and age-, sex- and cause-specific mortality data for 2006 were provided by the Office for National Statistics.
Results
The optimum median consumption level for drinkers in the model was 5 g/day (about half a unit), which would avert or delay 4579 (2544 to 6590) deaths per year. Approximately equal numbers of deaths from cancers and liver disease would be delayed or averted (∼2800 for each), while there was a small increase in cardiovascular mortality. The model showed no benefit in terms of reduced mortality when the proportion of non-drinkers in the population was increased.
Conclusions
Current government recommendations for alcohol consumption are well above the level likely to minimise chronic disease. Public health targets should aim for a reduction in population alcohol consumption in order to reduce chronic disease mortality.
Article summary
Article focus
Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, while providing modest protection from others. Assessments of the impact of alcohol on individual chronic diseases can therefore result in contradictory advice about the level of alcohol consumption that is optimal for health.
The UK Government currently recommends that men should consume no more than three to four units per day (24–32 g/day of pure alcohol) and women should drink no more than two to three units per day (16–24 g/day). However the net impact of this level of consumption on chronic disease mortality is unclear.
The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of achieving alternative population alcohol consumption levels on chronic disease mortality in England.
Key messages
Results suggest that the optimum population level of alcohol consumption for minimising chronic disease mortality in England is just 5 g (approximately half a unit) per day.
Current recommendations for alcohol consumption are well above this level and may not be compatible with optimum protection of public health. Substantial reductions in recommendations and in population alcohol consumption levels would be needed to minimise the chronic disease burden associated with alcohol consumption in England.
Community beliefs in the protective role of alcohol in cardiovascular disease are widespread; however, our modelling shows that when multiple conditions are considered simultaneously, the levels of alcohol that would actually be likely to be associated with reduced risk of chronic disease are much lower than is generally accepted or recommended by government.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The study used a detailed modelling approach to synthesise the best available evidence from meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and provide for the first time an estimate of the level of alcohol associated with theoretical minimum risk of a range of chronic diseases, considering both harmful and protective effects simultaneously.
The model is dependent on the meta-analyses selected to define the parameters. Results may vary significantly in other contexts with varying levels of disease, alcohol consumption and other risk factors. Furthermore, results depend on the quality of the available epidemiological evidence, which remains contested in some areas.
The approach used also relies on chronic (average) consumption of alcohol and is not able to take account of to take account of patterns of drinking (eg, binge drinking). Furthermore, the results are based on the assumption of a steady-state relationship between alcohol consumption patterns and RR of disease and cannot estimate the time required between changes in population alcohol consumption levels occurring and the achievement of changes in mortality rates.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000957
PMCID: PMC3367150  PMID: 22649178
9.  Contribution of Climate and Air Pollution to Variation in Coronary Heart Disease Mortality Rates in England 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32787.
There are substantial geographic variations in coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality rates in England that may in part be due to differences in climate and air pollution. An ecological cross-sectional multi-level analysis of male and female CHD mortality rates in all wards in England (1999–2004) was conducted to estimate the relative strength of the association between CHD mortality rates and three aspects of the physical environment - temperature, hours of sunshine and air quality. Models were adjusted for deprivation, an index measuring the healthiness of the lifestyle of populations, and urbanicity. In the fully adjusted model, air quality was not significantly associated with CHD mortality rates, but temperature and sunshine were both significantly negatively associated (p<0.05), suggesting that CHD mortality rates were higher in areas with lower average temperature and hours of sunshine. After adjustment for the unhealthy lifestyle of populations and deprivation, the climate variables explained at least 15% of large scale variation in CHD mortality rates. The results suggest that the climate has a small but significant independent association with CHD mortality rates in England.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032787
PMCID: PMC3299689  PMID: 22427884
10.  The development of a network for community-based obesity prevention: the CO-OPS Collaboration 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:132.
Background
Community-based interventions are a promising approach and an important component of a comprehensive response to obesity. In this paper we describe the Collaboration of COmmunity-based Obesity Prevention Sites (CO-OPS Collaboration) in Australia as an example of a collaborative network to enhance the quality and quantity of obesity prevention action at the community level. The core aims of the CO-OPS Collaboration are to: identify and analyse the lessons learned from a range of community-based initiatives aimed at tackling obesity, and; to identify the elements that make community-based obesity prevention initiatives successful and share the knowledge gained with other communities.
Methods
Key activities of the collaboration to date have included the development of a set of Best Practice Principles and knowledge translation and exchange activities to promote the application (or use) of evidence, evaluation and analysis in practice.
Results
The establishment of the CO-OPS Collaboration is a significant step toward strengthening action in this area, by bringing together research, practice and policy expertise to promote best practice, high quality evaluation and knowledge translation and exchange. Future development of the network should include facilitation of further evidence generation and translation drawing from process, impact and outcome evaluation of existing community-based interventions.
Conclusions
The lessons presented in this paper may help other networks like CO-OPS as they emerge around the globe. It is important that networks integrate with each other and share the experience of creating these networks.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-132
PMCID: PMC3053245  PMID: 21349185
11.  The incidence of all stroke and stroke subtype in the United Kingdom, 1985 to 2008: a systematic review 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:539.
Background
There is considerable geographic variation in stroke mortality around the United Kingdom (UK). Whether this is due to geographical differences in incidence or case-fatality is unclear. We conducted a systematic review of high-quality studies documenting the incidence of any stroke and stroke subtypes, between 1985 and 2008 in the UK. We aimed to study geographic and temporal trends in relation to equivalent mortality trends.
Methods
MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched, reference lists inspected and authors of included papers were contacted. All rates were standardised to the European Standard Population for those over 45, and between 45 and 74 years. Stroke mortality rates for the included areas were then calculated to produce rate ratios of stroke mortality to incidence for each location.
Results
Five papers were included in this review. Geographic variation was narrow but incidence appeared to largely mirror mortality rates for all stroke. For men over 45, incidence (and confidence intervals) per 100,000 ranged from 124 (109-141) in South London, to 185 (164-208) in Scotland. For men, premature (45-74 years) stroke incidence per 100,000 ranged from 79 (67-94) in the North West, to 112 (95-132) in Scotland. Stroke subtype data was more geographically restricted, but did suggest there is no sizeable variation in incidence by subtype around the country. Only one paper, based in South London, had data on temporal trends. This showed that there has been a decline in stroke incidence since the mid 1990 s. This could not be compared to any other locations in this review.
Conclusions
Geographic variations in stroke incidence appear to mirror variations in mortality rates. This suggests policies to reduce inequalities in stroke mortality should be directed at risk factor profiles rather than treatment after a first incident event. More high quality stroke incidence data from around the UK are needed before this can be confirmed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-539
PMCID: PMC2944372  PMID: 20825664
12.  The burden of physical activity‐related ill health in the UK 
Background
Despite evidence that physical inactivity is a risk factor for a number of diseases, only a third of men and a quarter of women are meeting government targets for physical activity. This paper provides an estimate of the economic and health burden of disease related to physical inactivity in the UK. These estimates are examined in relation to current UK government policy on physical activity.
Methods
Information from the World Health Organisation global burden of disease project was used to calculate the mortality and morbidity costs of physical inactivity in the UK. Diseases attributable to physical inactivity included ischaemic heart disease, ischaemic stroke, breast cancer, colon/rectum cancer and diabetes mellitus. Population attributable fractions for physical inactivity for each disease were applied to the UK Health Service cost data to estimate the financial cost.
Results
Physical inactivity was directly responsible for 3% of disability adjusted life years lost in the UK in 2002. The estimated direct cost to the National Health Service is £1.06 billion.
Conclusion
There is a considerable public health burden due to physical inactivity in the UK. Accurately establishing the financial cost of physical inactivity and other risk factors should be the first step in a developing national public health strategy.
doi:10.1136/jech.2006.050807
PMCID: PMC2652953  PMID: 17372296
13.  Quantification of Urbanization in Relation to Chronic Diseases in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review 
During and beyond the twentieth century, urbanization has represented a major demographic shift particularly in the developed world. The rapid urbanization experienced in the developing world brings increased mortality from lifestyle diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. We set out to understand how urbanization has been measured in studies which examined chronic disease as an outcome. Following a pilot search of PUBMED, a full search strategy was developed to identify papers reporting the effect of urbanization in relation to chronic disease in the developing world. Full searches were conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and GLOBAL HEALTH. Of the 868 titles identified in the initial search, nine studies met the final inclusion criteria. Five of these studies used demographic measures (such as population density) at an area level to measure urbanization. Four studies used more complicated summary measures of individual and area level data (such as distance from a city, occupation, home and land ownership) to define urbanization. The papers reviewed were limited by using simple area level summary measures (e.g., urban rural dichotomy) or having to rely on preexisting data at the individual level. Further work is needed to develop a measure of urbanization that treats urbanization as a process and which is sensitive enough to track changes in “urbanicity” and subsequent emergence of chronic disease risk factors and mortality.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article doi:10.1007/s11524-008-9325-4 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11524-008-9325-4
PMCID: PMC2587653  PMID: 18931915
Urbanization; Chronic disease; Systematic review; Developing countries
14.  Improving the uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD: 
Background
Pulmonary rehabilitation can improve the quality of life and ability to function of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may also reduce hospital admission and inpatient stay with exacerbations of COPD. Some patients who are eligible for pulmonary rehabilitation may not accept an offer of it, thereby missing an opportunity to improve their health status.
Aim
To identify a strategy for improving the uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation.
Design of study
Qualitative interviews with patients.
Setting
Patients with COPD were recruited from a suburban general practice in north-east Derbyshire, UK.
Method
In-depth interviews were conducted on a purposive sample of 16 patients with COPD to assess their concerns about accepting an offer of pulmonary rehabilitation. Interviews were analysed using grounded theory.
Results
Fear of breathlessness and exercise, and the effect of pulmonary rehabilitation on coexisting medical problems were the most common concerns patients had about taking part in the rehabilitation. The possibility of reducing the sensation of breathlessness and regaining the ability to do things, such as play with their grandchildren, were motivators to participating.
Conclusion
A model is proposed where patients who feel a loss of control as their disease advances may find that pulmonary rehabilitation offers them the opportunity to regain control. Acknowledging patients' fears and framing pulmonary rehabilitation as a way of ‘regaining control’ may improve patient uptake.
doi:10.3399/bjgp08X342363
PMCID: PMC2553530  PMID: 18826782
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; communication barriers; patient acceptance of healthcare; qualitative research
15.  Moving beyond 'rates, roads and rubbish': How do local governments make choices about healthy public policy to prevent obesity? 
While the causes of obesity are well known traditional education and treatment strategies do not appear to be making an impact. One solution as part of a broader complimentary set of strategies may be regulatory intervention at local government level to create environments for healthy nutrition and increased physical activity. Semi structured interviews were conducted with representatives of local government in Australia. Factors most likely to facilitate policy change were those supported by external funding, developed from an evidence base and sensitive to community and market forces. Barriers to change included a perceived or real lack of power to make change and the complexity of the legislative framework. The development of a systematic evidence base to provide clear feedback on the size and scope of the obesity epidemic at a local level, coupled with cost benefit analysis for any potential regulatory intervention, are crucial to developing a regulatory environment which creates the physical and social environment required to prevent obesity.
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-6-20
PMCID: PMC2736971  PMID: 19698170
16.  Patterns of coronary heart disease mortality over the 20th century in England and Wales: Possible plateaus in the rate of decline 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:148.
Background
Coronary heart disease (CHD) rates in England and Wales between 1950 and 2005 were high and reasonably steady until the mid 1970s, when they began to fall. Recent work suggests that the rate of change in some groups has begun to decrease and may be starting to plateau or even reverse.
Methods
Data for all deaths between 1931 and 2005 in England and Wales were grouped by year, sex, age at death and contemporaneous ICD code for CHD as cause of death. CHD mortality rates by calendar year and birth cohort were produced for both sexes and rates of change were examined.
Results
The pattern of increased burden of CHD mortality within older age groups has only recently emerged in men, whereas it has been established in women for far longer. CHD mortality rates among younger people showed little variation by birth cohort. For younger women (49 and under), the rate of change in CHD mortality has reversed in the last 20 years, indicating a future plateau and possible reversal of previous improvement in CHD mortality rates. Among younger men the rate of change in CHD mortality has been consistent for the past 15 years indicating that rates in this group have continued to fall steadily.
Conclusion
Although CHD mortality rates continue to drop in older age groups the actual burden of coronary heart disease is increasing due to the ageing of the population. The rate of improvement in CHD mortality appears to be beginning to decline and may even be reversing among younger women.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-148
PMCID: PMC2386471  PMID: 18452595

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