Risk Factors in Coronary Heart Disease: Possibilities of Prevention in the Federal Republic of West Germany

  • G. Schettler
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 26)


According to new international statistical data published by WHO, the United States has the highest mortality rate due to coronary disease since 1956. These rates have, in general, remained constant. From 1956 to 1967, however, there has been a continuous increase in mortality rates in all West European countries and in Japan, and it is unlikely that those rates are due to statistical errors. Among the West European countries, Finland has the highest mortality rate. Within these countries there exists regional differences: there are marked differences in mortality rates due to myocardial infarction between East and West Finland, between North and South Italy, between the Baltic region and the Caspian districts of Russia, between North and South Japan, The situation in the Federal Republic of West Germany for the period 1948 to 1970 is as follows; the total number of cardiovascular deaths rose from 2600 in 1948 to 38,000 in 1956, 56,000 in 1960, and 66,000 in 1964; and the rise has continued. The number of deaths in 1968, 1969 and 1970 was 95,000, 104, 000 and 1 25, 000, respectively. We do not have exact statistical data representative of the first years after World War II. According to reports from the Institutes of Pathology and large clinics, it is evident that the incidence of myocardial infarctions was extremely low. There were not more than approximately 2000 deaths due to myocardial infarction in 1948. There is no doubt that the striking increase of myocardial infarctions in the Federal Republic since 1948 parallels the normalizing situation in the food markets, In 1971, we expect an even higher death rate. If we count the number of patients who suffer from either their first or second myocardial infarction, it gives us a figure of approximately 600, 000. In addition, we see an increase of myocardial infarctions for both men and women of younger ages. A summary of this is seen in Fig. 1, which compares the death rates due to coronary disease in 1961 with 1964–1966. As we expected, there is a higher frequency for men than for women.


Myocardial Infarction Coronary Heart Disease Uric Acid Cigarette Smoking Federal Republic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Schettler
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical ClinicUniversity of Heidelberg Medical SchoolHeidelbergGermany

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