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N Z Med J. 2011 May 13;124(1334):21-34.

Sociodemographic differences in prevalence of diagnosed coronary heart disease in New Zealand estimated from linked national health records.

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  • 1Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Population Health, Tamaki Campus, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.



To estimate sociodemographic differences in the prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in New Zealand from linked health records.


We combined records of hospital treatment for CHD, dispensing of selected anti-anginal drugs and mortality to estimate the national point prevalence of coronary heart disease in New Zealand in December 2008. Stratified estimates are presented by gender; age; Māori, Pacific, Indian and 'Other' (mainly New Zealand European) ethnic groups; and socioeconomic status.


Among a "health contact" population of adults (greater than and equal to 15 years), about one in twenty (6.5% of men and 4.1% of women) had indicators of a past diagnosis or treatment for CHD or both. Substantial differences in prevalence occurred by gender, ethnic group and socioeconomic status. For example, among New Zealanders aged 35 to 74 years, Indian men had the highest age-adjusted prevalence (7.78%; 95%CI 7.43 to 8.15), almost double the prevalence of 'Other' males. Among women, Māori had the highest adjusted prevalence (4.03%; 95% CI 3.89 to 4.17), just over twice that of 'Others.'


Major sociodemographic disparities in the national burden of CHD persist. Our results are similar to previous studies of ethnic disparities in CHD incidence, but also confirm concerns about the emerging CHD burden among South Asians. Indian males have the highest CHD prevalence of any gender-specific ethnic group. Of equal concern, Māori women have a similar prevalence to European males.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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