Temporal Trends in Incidence of Premature Cardiovascular Disease Over the Past 7 Decades: The Framingham Heart Study

Ramachandran S. Vasan, Rebecca J. Song, Edwin R. van den Heuvel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Premature onset of cardiovascular disease (CVD) imposes a significant societal burden and challenges prevention efforts. METHODS AND RESULTS: Trends in the incidence of premature CVD (before age 55, 60, or 65 years, separate analysis for each threshold) were evaluated in 14 464 Framingham Heart Study participants over 7 decades of observation (1950–2019). The change in the incidence of premature CVD (per decade) in men and women was assessed using overdispersed Poisson regression (accounting for cohort effects), adjusting for age at entry and age at onset of premature CVD within each decade. CVD was defined as a composite of fatal or nonfatal coronary heart disease, stroke or transient ischemic attack, peripheral vascular disease, and heart failure. There were 2223 first CVD events (832 in women) before age 65 years during 282 481 person-years of observations (154 587 in women) between 1950 and 2019. The age-adjusted CVD incidence before age 65 years decreased from 14.8 per 1000 person-years (1950–1959) to 4.69 per 1000 person-years (2010–2019) in men and from 7.23 per 1000 person-years (1950–1959) to 1.73 per 1000 person-years (2010–2019) in women. In adjusted analyses, the incidence of premature CVD decreased per decade in men (18.4% [95% CI, 12.0%–24.0%], for onset before age 55 years; 19.5% [95% CI, 12.0%–27.0%], for onset before age 60 years; 21.3% [95% CI, 16.0%–27.0%], for onset before age 65 years) and women (15.1% [95% CI, 7.0%–22.0%], for onset before age 55 years; 14.0% [95% CI, 6.0%–22.0%], for onset before age 60 years; 18.2% [95% CI, 12.0%–24.0%], for onset before age 65 years). The decline in premature CVD was accompanied by a reduction in smoking and increased use of lipid-lowering treatments across the decades. Incidence of premature coronary heart disease decreased, whereas the contribution of stroke to premature CVD burden increased over time. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of premature CVD has decreased among White adults in the Framingham cohort over the past 70 years; the residual burden of premature stroke warrants further study. Additional studies of trends in premature CVD in more racially and geographically diverse populations are warranted to elucidate the generalizability of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere026497
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Volume11
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 4 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • age of onset
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cohort effect
  • human
  • incidence
  • men
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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