Heart disease deaths decline over 25 years

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2007, 12:00am

Deaths from heart disease have dramatically declined over the past 25 years - but risk factors prevail, the Centre for Health Protection said.

In its latest Non-Communicable Diseases Aware e-newsletter yesterday, the centre said heart disease mortality rates in Hong Kong had declined from 93.8 per 100,000 in 1981 to 49.7 last year.

But, it warned that risk factors such as smoking, not exercising enough, an unhealthy diet, being overweight or obese, excessive drinking, stress, high blood pressure, suboptimal blood lipid and sugar profiles prevailed in the general population.

These risk factors were also clustered among 'males, middle-aged persons, blue-collar workers or those with a lower level of education'.

Last year, 5,619 people died of heart diseases, excluding those with congenital heart malformations. Heart disease deaths accounted for 15 per cent of all registered deaths.

'Overall, males had a higher death rate of heart disease than females [86.6 per 100,000 males versus 77.7 women],' it added.

Men had higher death rates than women in acute myocardial infarction and other heart diseases.

Women are more likely to have died from chronic rheumatic heart diseases, hypertensive heart disease, pulmonary embolism, conduction disorders and cardiac arrhythmias as well as heart failure.

Last year, the Hospital Authority recorded about 57,000 patient discharges and deaths attributable to heart disease.

The centre suggested lifestyle changes and tests for blood lipids, which are fatty substances.