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Death due to cardiovascular disease predicted to decrease in Japan


Researchers from the National Cardiovascular Research Center of Japan and the University of Liverpool predict that the number of deaths caused by coronary heart disease and stroke will decline between 2020 and 2040 in most prefectures of Japan

Osaka, Japan – A key requirement of health policy-makers preparing budgets, and of great interest to those with family histories of cardiovascular disease (CVD), are predictions of future prevalence of this disease. Now, researchers from Japan have used new statistical modeling approaches that have predicted a drop in CVD rates until 2040.

Projections of future disease rates are necessary for governments to estimate funding required for healthcare, and for which health priorities, in a given timeframe. However, it can be challenging to make accurate predictions because of the variety of factors that contribute to disease rates. In a study to be published in The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific, researchers have revealed that deaths due to coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke may decrease between 2020 and 2040 in Japan. This research was a joint effort led by Eri Kiyoshige, Soshiro Ogata and Kunihiro Nishimura from the National Cardiovascular Research Center of Japan, and Martin O'Flaherty and Chris Kypridemos from the University of Liverpool.

“Key factors that need to be taken into account are population aging and population growth or decline,” states Eri Kiyoshige, lead author of the study. “When it comes to cardiovascular diseases, other factors also play an important role, such as increasing trends in diabetes, cholesterol level, and body mass index recently observed in Japan.”

Previous studies have attempted to estimate future projections of CHD and stroke in Japan, yet did not account for various contributing factors or regional differences in Japan’s 47 prefectures. Therefore, along with more conventional statistical modeling, the researchers employed a Bayesian age-period-cohort model that incorporates Japanese population estimates and the number of CHD and stroke deaths from 1995 to 2019 (for all men and women over 30 years of age). These were applied to population estimates from 2020 to 2040 to more accurately predict trends in CHD and stroke mortality than conventional modeling.

“This model predicted that the number of national-level cardiovascular deaths in Japan will decrease from 2020 to 2040,” says Chris Kypridemos, one of the authors of the study. “Rates are also predicted to decline in most prefectures over this same time period, although some regional differences are predicted in 2040.”

Results suggest that large reductions in mortality rates in the Japanese population can be anticipated to compensate for the adverse effects of the aging population. Furthermore, changes in population size will only make a moderate contribution at the national and regional levels. However, as CVD deaths fall and longevity increases, there is likely to be an increase in healthcare spending related to dementia and frailty, and a potentially increased burden of residential care, all of which need to be considered when predicting overall future healthcare costs.

These findings are expected to assist health policy-makers in making more accurate resourcing decisions, which may ultimately improve health services at the national and regional levels in Japan.

DOI : 10.1016/j.lanwpc.2022.100637


last updated:2022/11/15

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