• G. A. Gresham
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 58)


Myocardial infarction is nowadays a common and well recognised sequela of coronary atherosclerosis and yet it was only first described clearly in the second decade of this century. Over the period 1950–1973 the total mortality rate for England and Wales had declined in both sexes and in all age groups. However the cause specific pattern of mortality also changed alarmingly. The four major groups of chronic disease (heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and cancer) in 1977 represented a greater proportion of total mortality than in 1951. In middle aged men heart disease accounted for 20% of deaths in 1951 and 40% in 1971 (Figure 1). This could not be explained by the three revisions of the International Classification of Disease from 1950–1973 since the revisions did not include any major change in the method of coding heart diseases. It is true that the diagnostic class of “myocardial degeneration” has largely disappeared from the official nomenclature. However this cannot explain the spectacular rise in the incidence of ischaemic heart disease. Many cases classified as myocardial degeneration now fall into the category of the various cardiomyopathies.1


Coronary Artery Sudden Death Ischaemic Heart Disease Soft Water Congestive Cardiac Failure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. Gresham
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CambridgeUK

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