Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Continuing decrease in coronary heart disease mortality in Sweden

Johanna Berg12*, Lena Björck12, Georgios Lappas2, Martin O’Flaherty3, Simon Capewell3 and Annika Rosengren12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Östra, c/o Annika Rosengren, CK Plan 2, SE-416 85 Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Department of Public Health & Policy, Institute of Psychology, Health & Society. Whelan Building, Quadrangle, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2014, 14:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-14-9

Published: 21 January 2014



Deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD) have been decreasing in most Western countries over the last few decades. In contrast, a flattening of the decrease in mortality has been recently reported among younger age groups in some countries. We aimed to determine whether the decrease in CHD mortality is flattening among Swedish young adults.


We examined trends in CHD mortality in Sweden between 1987 and 2009 among persons aged 35 to 84 years using CHD mortality data from the Swedish National Register on Cause of Death. Annual percent changes in rates were examined using Joinpoint software.


Overall, CHD mortality rates decreased by 67.4% in men and 65.1% in women. Among men aged 35–54 years, there was a modest early attenuation from a marked initial decrease. In the oldest women aged 75–84 years, an attenuation in the mortality decrease was observed from 1989 to 1992, followed by a decrease, as in all other age groups.


In Sweden, coronary heart disease deaths are still falling. We were unable to confirm a flattening of the decline in young people. Death rates continue to decline in men and women across all age groups, albeit at a slower pace in younger men since 1991. Continued careful monitoring of CHD mortality trends in Sweden is required, particularly among young adults.

Myocardial ischemia; Mortality; Risk factors; Coronary heart disease