TABLE 5.1 Death Rate due to Heart Disease per 100,000 Population, 1989 to 1991

 

Men

Women

Age (years)

White

Black

Hispanic

White

Black

Hispanic

15–24

3

7

2

4

24–44

25

58

8

2

28

45–54

171

340

111

50

156

58

55–64

518

838

346

193

445

149

65–74

1,234

1,645

840

584

1,023

435

75–84

2,959

3,115

1,988

1,877

2,289

1,294

>85

7,515

6,343

4,861

6,550

5,767

4,488

 

SOURCE: Adapted from Srinath et al. (1995). Data for the age groups between 15 and 44 years were obtained from NCHS (1993). Data for the groups over age 45 were obtained from NCHS (1994).

related to CVDs, an amount that corresponds to 33 percent of its hospitalization expenditures.

Through well-accepted risk factors (i.e., dyslipidemia, hypertension), dietary factors have a prominent role in the genesis of athersclerotic CVDs (i.e., CHD, stroke, heart failure3 ). Although atherosclerosis is a chronic process beginning in youth, there is abundant evidence that therapies initiated in older-aged persons can prevent or delay clinical events. Furthermore, because of the high incidence of CVD events in older age, even relatively small improvements in risk factors (i.e., small reductions in blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol through diet), should be of substantial benefit to the general population. However, there is a lag period, likely 2 or more years, between the onset of therapy and a reduced risk of clinical events, such as CHD and stroke. The situation is quite different for heart failure, in which case adherence to dietary and medication therapies can lead to early benefits, such as reduced rate of hospitalization and reduced length of stay.

The following sections discuss the role of diet as a means to improve cardiovascular risk factors (dyslipidemia and hypertension) and as a means to treat heart failure.

DYSLIPIDEMIA

Dyslipidemia is a powerful risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases, particularly CHD. The term dyslipidemia applies to a high blood level of

3  

Heart failure refers to a clinical condition in which the heart becomes weakened or stiff and pumps blood inefficiently.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement