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Artery. 1980;8(4):381-7.

Atherosclerosis and mortality statistics.


WHO mortality statistics are subject to severe criticism all over the world due to the ICD code, the monocausal evaluation and th inhomogenity of data which are only partially verified by post mortem findings. Despite this fact WHO statistics are the only possibility to compare morality in different areas. In order to prove their reliability we have collected data of patients who have died in 9 Vienna hospitals. Our material consists of more than 15000 out of 25000 death cases in the year 1976. The autopsy rate was about 70%. To handle this amount of datas a computer system was used. In comparison with the official Austrian statistics our total atherosclerosis rate was higher due to the multicausal evaluation and the much higher percentage of CHD. Atherosclerosis of the brain was found in a lower percentage than officially mentioned when autopsy was performed. An example for single case studies is the myocardial infarction in a defined age group to support the importance of statistics based on a high rate of autopsies and the use of electronic data processing.

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