Incidence of cardiovascular disease in Spain

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) represents the most lethal and frequent clinical manifestation of ischemic heart disease (IHD), which persists as the main cause of morbidity and mortality both in Europe and the rest of the world.

It is estimated that ACS causes 7.6 million deaths each year, of which more than 2 million occur in Europe and more than 740,000 in the countries of the European Union.

Currently, ischemic heart disease is the leading single cause of death in men and the second in women. According to estimates, the number of cases of acute coronary syndrome will reach 109,772 in 2021 and, due to demographic causes, will increase until 2049.

It should be noted that in 2006, with the entry into force of the first law on the prevention of passive smoking, the attack rate of acute myocardial infarction fell by 11%.

Factors determining the prognosis of ACS

Fortunately, in our country the number of people surviving an acute myocardial infarction is continuously on the rise thanks to the implementation of the Infarction Code together with the stabilization of the incidence rate during the last decades and the significant decrease in short- (28-30 days) and medium-term (6 months) case-fatality. On the other hand, the progressive aging of our society also influences the progressive increase in the prevalence of IHD, since most cases occur in individuals over 55 years of age.

Gender differences in the prognosis of AMI

During the 1990s, a good number of scientific publications pointed out that, although the incidence rate of AMI was lower in women than in men, short-term mortality was much higher in women.

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Economic impact of AMI

In 2010, reports from the British Heart Foundation indicated that cardiovascular diseases in Europe accounted for 112 billion euros in health care expenditure. For its part, the figures for ACS were 25 billion euros. In Spain, the Ministry of Health estimated the annual cost of IHD at 326,140,000 euros, of which 116,920,000 euros were direct costs and 209,220,000 euros indirect costs in 2006.

Estimates point to a stabilization in the number of ACS in the 25-74 age group, and a significant increase in those over 74 years of age until 2049. The reason for this increase is the progressive aging of the population, which will increase by 9% in the 25 to 74 age group and by 110% in the over-74 age group. This increase will undoubtedly translate into higher healthcare costs.

This increase in the number of acute coronary syndromes and their associated costs estimated for the coming decades might not be so high if preventive measures were implemented. Thus, a reduction in the prevalence of certain risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and obesity could cushion the expected increase in the number of coronary events.

It is very important to visit the Cardiology specialist to detect possible pathologies.