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Int J Health Geogr. 2011 Jan 12;10:5. doi: 10.1186/1476-072X-10-5.

Cardiovascular disease occurrence in two close but different social environments.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Link√∂ping University, Sweden.



Cardiovascular diseases estimate to be the leading cause of death and loss of disability-adjusted life years globally. Conventional risk factors for cardiovascular diseases only partly account for the social gradient. The purpose of this study was to compare the occurrence of the most frequent cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular mortality in two close cities, the Twin cities.


We focused on the total population in two neighbour and equally sized cities with a population of around 135 000 inhabitants each. These twin cities represent two different social environments in the same Swedish county. According to their social history they could be labelled a "blue-collar" and a "white-collar" city. Morbidity data for the two cities was derived from an administrative health care register based on medical records assigned by the physicians at both hospitals and primary care. The morbidity data presented are cumulative incidence rates and the data on mortality for ischemic heart diseases is based on official Swedish statistics.


The cumulative incidence of different cardiovascular diagnoses for younger and also elderly men and women revealed significantly differences for studied cardiovascular diagnoses. The occurrence rates were in all aspects highest in the population of the "blue-collar" twin city for both sexes.


This study revealed that there are significant differences in risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality between the populations in the studied different social environments. These differences seem to be profound and stable over time and thereby give implication for public health policy to initiate a community intervention program in the "blue-collar" twin city.

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