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31 March 2016
Heart Diseases  

Introduction

"Heart Diseases" refers to a broad spectrum of diseases related to the heart. Among different types of heart diseases, coronary heart disease constitutes a major portion of the mortality. The disease occurs when cholesterol layers deposit on the inner wall of coronary arteries and narrow the lumens of the arteries. The process reduces blood supply to cardiac muscle and causes exertional chest pain known as angina.

 

Situation in Hong Kong

Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Heart diseases corresponds to codes 390-429 in ICD-9 and I00-I09, I11, I13, I20-I51 in ICD-10. Coronary heart disease corresponds to codes 410-414 in ICD-9 and I20-I25 in ICD-10.

Heart diseases claimed about 79900 inpatient discharges and inpatient deaths in all hospitals, and 6405 registered deaths in 2014. They were the third commonest cause of deaths in Hong Kong and accounting for 14.0% of all deaths in 2014. The crude death rates due to heart diseases were 104.9 for male and 74.3 for female per 100000 population of respective sex in 2014. Coronary heart disease was the dominating component, making up 67.0% of heart diseases deaths. The crude death rates due to coronary heart diseases were 75.2 for male and 45.6 for female per 100000 population of respective sex in 2014. Up to 2000, the age-standardised death rates for heart diseases and coronary heart disease have declined by about one-third and one-fifth respectively over the last 20 years. Age-standardised death rates due to heart diseases were 54.8 for male and 28.5 for female per 100000 standard population in 2014. Age-standardised death rates due to coronary heart disease were 39.3 for male and 17.4 for female per 100000 standard population in 2014. Based on Population Health Survey 2003/04, 1.6% of people aged 15 and above had doctor-diagnosed coronary heart disease.

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate
of heart diseases by sex, 1981-2000

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of heart diseases by sex, 1981-2000

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate
of heart diseases by sex, 2001-2014

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of heart diseases by sex, 2001-2014

Age-standardised death rate* of heart diseases
by sex, 1981-2000

Age-standardised death rate of heart diseases by sex, 1981-2000

Age-standardised death rate* of heart diseases
by sex, 2001-2014

Age-standardised death rate of heart diseases by sex, 2001-2014

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate
of coronary heart diseases by sex, 1981-2000

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of coronary heart diseases by sex, 1981-2000

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate
of coronary heart diseases by sex, 2001-2014

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of coronary heart diseases by sex, 2001-2014

Age-standardised death rate* of coronary heart disease
by sex, 1981-2000

Age-standardised death rate of coronary heart disease by sex, 1981-2000

Age-standardised death rate* of coronary heart disease
by sex, 2001-2014

Age-standardised death rate of coronary heart disease by sex, 2001-2014

 

Notes:

Include both inpatient discharges and inpatient deaths in all hospitals with heart diseases as the principal diagnosis in that episode of hospitalisation.

  Include registered deaths with heart diseases as the underlying cause of death.
  * Age-standardised death rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001. 

 

 

Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach. Also, the Population Census conducted in June to August 2011 provides a benchmark for revising the population figures compiled since the 2006 Population By-census.

 

 

Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Sources:

 

Census and Statistics Department
Department of Health

Symptoms

People with coronary heart disease may experience central crushing chest pain, precipitated by exertion and relieved by rest. The pain may radiate to the arm, shoulder, neck and jaw. It is of greater severity and longer duration in a heart attack. Other symptoms include palpitation, dizziness, sweating, nausea and weakness. It may be associated with breathlessness and bilateral leg swelling when the patient is in heart failure.

 

Risk factors

There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease and many of them are preventable or treatable. They include hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoking, diabetes mellitus, obesity, lack of physical activity and chronic stress. Family history of the disease also increases the risk.

 

Prevention

To prevent coronary heart disease, people should never smoke, follow a balanced diet and avoid food with high cholesterol and fat (especially saturated fat and trans fat). Regular physical activity, maintaining an optimum body weight and waist circumference, and reducing stress are also beneficial. Of note, evidence on possible heart benefit of alcohol consumption remains controversial. For non-drinkers, they should not start drinking, assuming that alcohol consumption can improve their heart health. Drinkers are urged to refrain from alcohol consumption. People with any underlying illnesses such as hypertension or diabetes should receive appropriate medical follow-up.

 

Related information

To learn more about prevention of heart diseases and healthy lifestyle, please browse the website of the Health Zone.

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