Korean Circ J.  2021 Apr;51(4):320-332. 10.4070/kcj.2020.0424.

Thirty-six Year Trends in Mortality from Diseases of Circulatory System in Korea

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Public Health, Yonsei University Graduate School, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Integrative Research Center for Cerebrovascular and Cardiovascular diseases, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Background and Objectives
Understanding the trends in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality is important for developing burden reduction strategies. Based on the Cause of Death Statistics, we examined the changing patterns of CVD mortality in Korea between 1983 and 2018.
Causes of death were coded according to the International Classification of Disease, 10th revision. Deaths from all diseases of circulatory system (I00-I99) and the following 6 subcategories were analyzed: total heart diseases (I00-I13 and I20-I51), hypertensive heart diseases (I10-I13), ischemic heart diseases (I20-I25), myocardial infarction (I21-I23), heart failure (I50), and cerebrovascular diseases (I60-I69). Crude, age-standardized, and age-stratified rates were calculated to assess temporal trends in CVD mortality.
The number of deaths and crude mortality rate for all diseases of circulatory system increased recently mainly due to the population ageing. Specifically, total heart diseases showed increasing trend, whereas cerebrovascular diseases showed decreasing trend. Between 1983 and 2018, age-standardized mortality rates significantly declined for all diseases of circulatory system, total heart diseases, hypertensive heart diseases, and cerebrovascular diseases. Age-standardized mortality rates for ischemic heart diseases and myocardial infarction peaked in the early 2000s then decreased thereafter. However, agestandardized mortality rate for heart failure rapidly increased, especially in recent years.
CVD mortality in Korea has remarkably decreased over the last 36 years. However, the recent rise in the absolute number of deaths from heart diseases, especially from heart failure, calls for attention in prevention and management of CVD and its sequelae.


Cardiovascular diseases; Heart failure; Mortality; Age distribution; Korea
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