Continued adverse trends in coronary heart disease mortality among blacks, 1980-91.
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Continued adverse trends in coronary heart disease mortality among blacks, 1980-91.

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  • English

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      Public Health Rep
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      An abrupt downturn in mortality rates from coronary heart disease occurred in the United States in the mid-1960s, and for the next decade all four major sex-race groups experienced virtually identical rates of decline. Beginning around the mid-1970s, however, trends for blacks and whites began to diverge, with a deceleration in the annual fall in rates for blacks. The recent release of mortality data extending through 1991, with correction of the denominator estimates in the 1980s using the 1990 census, demonstrate a striking linearity of this trend over the entire decade. In 1989, for the first time since the category of coronary heart disease has been recorded in vital statistics, the age-adjusted death rate for it among black men exceeded that of whites. As a result of the divergent trends among men, an excess of 4,000 deaths of blacks were recorded in 1991 alone. Among women, coronary heart disease mortality was higher among blacks at the beginning of this period, and the average annual percent decline was only two-thirds that of whites. As a result, the absolute mortality gap between blacks and whites steadily increased from 19 to 33 percent (1980 to 1991). This study indicates that the factors that have led to the decline in coronary heart disease have not influenced all demographic groups equally over the last decade.
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