OECD: Cardiovascular disease deaths declining in Germany

15364994619_0a533bdb88_k.jpg [Martin Vogler/Flickr]

Mortality due to cardiovascular disease has decreased by around 60% in Germany, though more people die of heart attack and stroke than the OECD average, a recent study indicates. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Claiming more than 310 lives per 100,000 people, the number of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases is higher in Germany than the average in OECD countries. This is among the results of the latest OECD report, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Policies for Better Health and Quality of Care.

But the average number of potential life years lost is still lower than in the OECD overall. As a result, deaths due to cardiovascular disease likely occur at an older age in Germany than in many other OECD countries.

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But the increasing prevalence of excessive weight, obesity and diabetes worldwide, especially among younger people, could stop or even reverse this positive trend. Cardiovascular diseases remain the most common cause of death in OECD countries. They are often related to obesity and diabetes.

Though excessive weight is not as widespread in Germany as it is in many OECD countries, the Federal Republic performed relatively badly in an international comparison with regard to certain risk factors.

In 2011, one in five adults smoked and among minors the statistic was even 22.4% (OECD 19.5%). High blood pressure and high cholesterol are also more widespread than the average among the 34 OECD countries.

On the other hand, spending on preventative measures is higher in Germany than the OECD average. Basic medical care is also far superior to the median.

But the quality of basic care for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes seems lower than in many other OECD countries. No other country, except Hungary, admitted as many diabetes patients into the hospital relative to the prevalence of the disease (51 per thousand diabetes cases). Chronic heart failure is treated more often in the hospital than anywhere else.

The likelihood of death due to cardiovascular disease is very different across the OECD. In Japan, France, Korea and Israel it is at less than 200 people per 100,000 residents. More than 500 people per 100,000 die in Central and Eastern Europe from similar causes.

According to the OECD report, many countries are far from introducing the right reforms to decrease the number of cases or to treat cardiovascular diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in OECD countries. Around one-third of the population died of a stroke, a heart attack or something similar. Obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions.

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