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Trends in Cardiovascular Death Rates Among Women Veterans
Ebrahimi R, Sumner J, Lynch K, Viernes B, Tzeng CH, Dennis P, Treadwell M, Alvarez C, Yano EM, Shroyer LA, Beckham J. Trends in Cardiovascular Death Rates Among Women Veterans. [Abstract]. Circulation. 2021 Nov 8; 144(Suppl_1):A10287-A10287.
Introduction: Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during 2000-2017 the age-adjusted death rate from diseases of the heart/Cardiac Death (CD) for women in United States of America (US) decreased from 210.9 to 129.6 per 100,000 person-years (39% reduction). Recent trends in CD for women Veterans is not known. The goals of this project were to evaluate trends in CD in women Veterans from 2000-2017 and compare these trends to the corresponding national trends available through CDC (https://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html).
Methods: Using the national Veterans Affairs (VA) electronic medical records (EMR), all women who visited any VA between 1/1/2000 to 12/31/2017 were identified. Vital status and cause of death were obtained by linking National Death Index (NDI) database to the VA cohort. CD was identified by underlying cause of death defined by International Classification of Disease Tenth Revision diagnostic codes (ICD-10). The same ICD-10 codes used by CDC to identify CD were used in the analysis of the VA cohort (I00-I09,I11,I13,I20-I51). Crude and age-standardized mortality rates were calculated overall and by calendar year. The 2000 US Standard Population was used as the reference population.
Results: During the study period, 817,912 women Veterans had at least one visit at a VA medical center in US. Overall, 84,897 women died during the study period with 19,022 (22.4%) being heart related death. Figure #1 reveals the age-adjusted CD for US women in general, and women Veterans.
Conclusions: Discordant from the national trend, age-adjusted CD among women Veterans has increased by more than 49%, from 2000 to 2017. In 2017, age-adjusted CD for women Veterans was more than twice the rate for US women. These results re-enforce the recent call to action to better understand and improve cardiovascular health for women Veterans.