Original Research
March 13, 2019
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Burden of Cardiovascular Diseases in China, 1990-2016: Findings From the 2016 Global Burden of Disease Study
SW Liu, YC Li; XY Zeng et al.

cardiovascular disease burden; DALYs

IMPORTANCE - Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the top cause of death in China. To our knowledge, no consistent and comparable assessments of CVD burden have been produced at subnational levels, and little is understood about the spatial patterns and temporal trends of CVD in China.

OBJECTIVE - To determine the national and province-level burden of CVD from 1990 to 2016 in China.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS - Following the methodology framework and analytical strategies used in the 2016 Global Burden of Disease study, the mortality, prevalence, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) of CVD in the Chinese population were examined by age, sex, and year and according to 10 subcategories. Estimates were produced for all province-level administrative units of mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao.

EXPOSURES - Residence in China.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES - Mortality, prevalence, and DALYs of CVD.

RESULTS - The annual number of deaths owing to CVD increased from 2.51 million to 3.97 million between 1990 and 2016; the age-standardized mortality rate fell by 28.7%, from 431.6 per 100?000 persons in 1990 to 307.9 per 100?000 in 2016. Prevalent cases of CVD doubled since 1990, reaching nearly 94 million in 2016. The age-standardized prevalence rate of CVD overall increased significantly from 1990 to 2016 by 14.7%, as did rates for ischemic heart disease (19.1%), ischemic stroke (36.6%), cardiomyopathy and myocarditis (23.1%), and endocarditis (26.7%). Substantial reduction in the CVD burden, as measured by age-standardized DALY rate, was observed from 1990 to 2016 nationally, with a greater reduction in women (43.7%) than men (24.7%). There were marked differences in the spatial patterns of mortality, prevalence, and DALYs of CVD overall as well as its main subcategories, including ischemic heart disease, hemorrhagic stroke, and ischemic stroke. The CVD burden appeared to be lower in coastal provinces with higher economic development. The between-province gap in relative burden of CVD increased from 1990 to 2016, with faster decline in economically developed provinces.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE - Substantial discrepancies in the total CVD burden and burdens of CVD subcategories have persisted between provinces in China despite a relative decrease in the CVD burden. Geographically targeted considerations are needed to tailor future strategies to enhance CVD health throughout China and in specific provinces.

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