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J Clin Epidemiol. 1989;42(3):245-56.

Trends in mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke among U.S. veterans; 1954-1979.

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Social and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


A cohort of nearly 300,000 insured veterans (Dorn Cohort), experienced a much greater percent decline in CHD death rate over the period, 1954-1979, than the population of the U.S., while for stroke, the percent decline in death rate was virtually the same as the U.S. For CHD, greater percent declines were noted over the study period for non-smokers compared to cigarette smokers, for professionals compared to non-professionals and for persons with high socioeconomic scores (SES) compared to those with low scores. In each group, younger persons experienced greater percent declines than older persons. For stroke, non-smokers experienced a somewhat greater percent decline in rate than smokers but this did not hold true for all age groups. Unlike CHD, professionals experienced a smaller percent decline in their stroke death rate than non-professionals, as did persons with high SES compared to those with low SES. The contradictory patterns observed for the two diseases with respect to occupation and SES suggest that the risk factors for stroke and coronary heart disease are not exactly the same. Throughout, the findings were much more convincing for CHD than for stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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