Last year over 44 thousand people (i.e. one in three deaths) died from cardiovascular diseases.
Decline in cardiovascular mortality
In the period 1970 - 1995 the annual number of cardiovascular deaths hovered around 51 thousand. Since then cardiovascular mortality rates have dropped. If size and age structure of the Dutch population are taken into account, cardiovascular mortality has dropped continually since the early 1970s. In 1970 the male cardiovascular mortality rate amounted to 570, for females it was 660 per 100 thousand of each gender; the rates for 2004 were 270 and 280 respectively. The risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases has been reduced by more than half since 1970.
Sharpest decrease in acute myocardial infarction mortality
In 2004 the risk of dying from coronary artery diseases is only one third of the risk in the early 1970s for both men and women. This is mainly due to a decrease in acute myocardial infarction mortality.
Change in the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases by gender, 2000/2004–1970/1974
More attention to a healthy lifestyle
Mortality rates dropped as more people refrained from smoking since the 1980s. This largely accounts for the decrease in male cardiovascular mortality. Improved treatment methods to bring down the blood cholesterol level and hypertension and more attention to a healthy lifestyle contributed to a lower mortality rate.
Decrease less obvious in young women
The decline in cardiovascular mortality was not evenly spread across the various age categories. The decline in women under the age of 60 is more modest than in men. This is party the result of their smoking behaviour. All the same, women dying from cardiovascular diseases are on average older than men. Women dying from cardiovascular diseases are on average 81.4 years of age, men 74.5 years.
Change in the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases by age and gender, 2000/2004–1970/1974
Anouschka van der Meulen