Mortality Rates for Heart Disease, Stroke Decline

February 1, 2008
Drug Benefit Trends, Drug Benefit Trends Vol 20 No 2, Volume 20, Issue 2

Mortality data released by the CDC in January show that between 1999 and 2005, the age-adjusted death rate for coronary heart disease decreased by 25.8%, from 195 to 144 deaths per 100,000 persons per year. The new data also indicate that since 1999, the death rate for stroke has decreased by 24.4%, from 61 to 47 deaths per 100,000 persons per year. The reduction in mortality rates in 2005 resulted in approximately 160,000 fewer deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke, 2 of the 3 leading causes of death in the United States.

 

Mortality data released by the CDC in January show that between 1999 and 2005, the age-adjusted death rate for coronary heart disease decreased by 25.8%, from 195 to 144 deaths per 100,000 persons per year. The new data also indicate that since 1999, the death rate for stroke has decreased by 24.4%, from 61 to 47 deaths per 100,000 persons per year. The reduction in mortality rates in 2005 resulted in approximately 160,000 fewer deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke, 2 of the 3 leading causes of death in the United States.

The Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2005 National Vital Statistics Report (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr_10.pdf) shows that the coronary heart disease age-adjusted death rate for women has decreased by 26.9% since 1999. The age-adjusted stroke death rate for men and women declined by 25.8% and 23.7%, respectively, during the same period. The age-adjusted death rates for blacks fell by 23.8% for coronary heart disease and by 20.3% for stroke compared with 25.6% and 25%, respectively, for whites.

The CDC data also reveal that only some of the primary modifiable risk factors for these 2 diseases have declined significantly since 1999. For example, the number of US adults with high blood cholesterol levels or uncontrolled hypertension has fallen by 19.2% and 16%, respectively. The number of persons using tobacco has dropped by 15.4%. However, the rate of physical inactivity has decreased by only 2.5%, and the prevalence for obesity as well as that for type 2 diabetes are increasing.

The reduction in mortality rates from coronary heart disease and stroke reported by the CDC means that the American Heart Association (AHA) may fully meet the strategic goal it set in 1999: lowering the number of deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke and reducing the risk factors for these diseases by 25% by 2010. If the long-term death rates continue to decline, the AHA projects that approximately 240,000 fewer heart disease-related and stroke-related deaths (36% and 34%, respectively) will occur in 2008.

 

Glycemic Control Improves Among Persons With Diabetes

According to researchers led by Thomas J. Hoerger, PhD, director of the health economics and financing program at RTI, in Research Triangle Park, NC, the control of blood glucose levels has improved dramatically on average among US adults with diabetes. The findings were published in the January issue of Diabetes Care.

Using 3 consecutive waves of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Hoerger and colleagues found that average glycosylated hemoglobin (A1C) levels of persons with diabetes decreased from 7.82% in 1999-2000 to 7.47% in 2001-2002 and 7.18% in 2003-2004. In addition, the percentage of persons with A1C levels below 7% increased from 37% in 1999-2000 to 49.7% in 2001-2002 and 55.7% in 2003-2004. The team also reported that the percentage of persons with A1C levels above 9% fell from 21% in 1999 to 12% in 2004.

 

Novartis to Market Combination Antihypertensive

On January 18, the FDA granted marketing approval for Tekturna HCT (aliskiren hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ]), Novartis’s combination product that was developed to treat hypertension. Tekturna HCT combines Tekturna, the first direct renin inhibitor (approved in March 2007), with the diuretic HCTZ in a single tablet.

Tekturna HCT is indicated for use in persons in whom hypertension is not controlled with either Tekturna or HCTZ alone. The new medication will be available in 4 strengths containing Tekturna/HCTZ: 150 mg/12.5 mg tablets, 150 mg/25 mg tablets, 300 mg/12.5 mg tablets, and 300 mg/25 mg tablets