Research Article

Changes in incidence and prognosis of ischaemic heart disease in Finland: a record linkage study of data on death certificates and hospital records for 1972 and 1981.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 15 June 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1773
  1. M Koskenvuo,
  2. J Kaprio,
  3. H Langinvainio,
  4. M Romo,
  5. P Pulkkinen


    The components of the decline in mortality from ischaemic heart disease in Finland were studied by analysing the changes in incidence and prognosis between 1972 and 1981. Using personal identification numbers, hospital discharge records and death certificates were linked for all men and women aged 40-64. During this period mortality decreased 15.9% in men and 23.5% in women, incidence 14.2% in men and 19.3% in women, being greatest among 40-49 year olds living in urban areas, and case fatality 7.3% in men and 10.3% in women, owing primarily to a decrease in patients dying of ischaemic heart disease without being admitted to hospital; survival was also better among patients admitted to hospital. Factors explaining these changes remain unknown because data on risk factors and factors influencing prognosis are limited and largely ecological.