Decline in mortality of coronary heart disease among whites and blacks in Wisconsin 1979-1998.WMJ 2002; 101(3):23-7WMJ
1) To examine overall trends in Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) mortality in Wisconsin from 1979 to 1998 to assess progress toward Wisconsin's "Public Health Agenda for the Year 2000" goal; and 2) to compare the trends in mortality rates due to CHD by race, gender, and age groups between the periods of 1979-1983 and 1994-1998.
Mortality data for CHD (ICD codes 410-414, 429.2) were retrieved from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's WONDER database. Age-specific CHD mortality rates were calculated as averages over the 5-year periods, 1979-1983 and 1994-1998. Both the percentage change in mortality rates between the two periods and the number of lives saved during the 1994-1998 period as a result of change were obtained. To look at racial disparities in mortality, relative rates, that is, ratios between mortality rates of blacks and whites in the 1994-1998 period, were calculated.
Between the two time periods (1979-1983 and 1994-1998) there was a 40% reduction of CHD mortality in most age groups for white men and women. The slowest decline in mortality occurred among black men: 11% in the 35-44 age group and less than 30% among those 55 years and older. Although the mortality rate declines for black women over the study period were similar to those for whites overall, in the 1994-1998 period mortality rates among younger black women aged 35 to 54 were 2 to 4 times higher than those for white women in the corresponding age groups.
Wisconsin achieved its year 2000 objective for CHD mortality reductions in 1998, experiencing a 49% decline in CHD mortality from 1979 to 1998. Despite this overall decline, however, there was a noticeable difference in the trends among demographic groups, suggesting a further focus on racial disparities in CHD mortality.