Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Decreasing trends in cardiovascular mortality in Turkey between 1988 and 2008

Gönül Dinç1*, Kaan Sözmen2, Gül Gerçeklioğlu3, Hale Arık4, Julia Critchley5 and Belgin Ünal6

Author affiliations

1 Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, Celal Bayar University, Manisa 45030, Turkey

2 Narlıdere Community Health Centre, İzmir, Turkey

3 Vocational School of Health Services, Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey

4 Ordu Community Health Centre, Ordu, Turkey

5 Division of Population Health Sciences & Education, St. George’s, University of London, London, UK

6 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, İzmir, Turkey

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:896  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-896

Published: 30 September 2013



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality increased in developed countries until the 1970s then started to decline. Turkey is about to complete its demographic transition, which may also influence mortality trends. This study evaluated trends in coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke mortality between 1988 and 2008.


The number of deaths by cause (ICD-8), age and sex were obtained from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) annually between 1988 and 2008. Population statistics were based on census data (1990 and 2000) and Turkstat projections. European population standardised mortality rates for CHD and stroke were calculated for men and women over 35 years old. Joinpoint Regression was used to identify the points at which a statistically significant (p < 0.05) change of the trend occurred.


The CHD mortality rate increased by 2.9% in men and 2.0% in women annually from 1988 to 1994, then started to decline. The annual rate of decline for men was 1.7% between 1994–2008, whilst in women it was 2.8% between 1994–2000 and 6.7% between 2005–2008 (p < 0.05 for all periods).

Stroke mortality declined between 1990–1994 (annual fall of 3.8% in both sexes), followed by a slight increase between 1994–2004 (0.6% in men, 1.1% in women), then a further decline until 2008 (annual reduction of 4.4% in men, 7.9% in women) (p < 0.05 for all periods).


A decrease in CVD mortality was observed from 1995 onwards in Turkey. The causes need to be explored in detail to inform future policy priorities in noncommunicable disease control.

Coronary heart disease mortality; Stroke mortality; Cardiovascular mortality; Trends; Turkey