Heart disease and stroke mortality rates have almost stopped declining in many high-income countries and are even increasing in some countries, reveals a new study.
For the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers from the University of Melbourne analysed trends in cardiovascular disease mortality, which consists of mainly heart disease and stroke — in 23 high-income countries since the year 2000.
The study found that cardiovascular disease mortality rates for people aged 35 to 74 years are now barely declining, or are increasing, in 12 of the 23 countries.
Cardiovascular disease mortality rates have increased in the most recent years in US and Canadian females, while in Australia, the UK and New Zealand annual declines in deaths from cardiovascular diseases are now 20 to 50 per cent.
“Research suggests that obesity, or at least poor diet, may have been a significant contributor to the slowdown in the decline of cardiovascular disease deaths,” said Alan Lopez, Professor at the University of Melbourne.
“Each of these countries have very high levels of obesity. In Australia, close to one-third of adults are obese,” Lopez said.
The researchers observed that obesity is the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease mortality — others include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
“Failure to address these issues could confirm the end of the long-term decline in cardiovascular disease deaths and threaten future gains in life expectancy.” concluded study’s co-author Tim Adair, a researcher at the varsity. (IANS)
Leaving school and getting a job both lead to a drop in the amount of physical activity and may lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, while becoming a mother is linked to increased weight gain, researchers have found.
Many people tend to put on weight as they leave adolescence and move into adulthood and this is the age when the levels of obesity increase the fastest, the study said.
This weight gain is related to changes in diet and physical activity behaviour across the life events of early adulthood, including the move from school to further education and employment, starting new relationships and having children.
“This evidence suggests that the pressures of university, employment and childcare drive changes in behaviour which are likely to be bad for long-term health,” said study researcher Eleanor Winpenny from University of Cambridge in the US.
For the study, published in the journal Obesity Reviews, researchers looked at changes in physical activity, diet and body weight as young adults move from education into employment and to becoming a parent.
To do this, they carried out systematic reviews and meta-analyses of existing scientific literature.
In the first of the two studies, the research team looked at the evidence relating to the transition from high school into higher education or employment and how this affects body weight, diet and physical activity.
In total, they found 19 studies covering ages 15-35 years, of which 17 assessed changes in physical activity, three body weight, and five diet or eating behaviours.
The team found that leaving high school was associated with a decrease of seven minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
The decrease was larger for males than it was for females (a decrease of 16.4 minutes per day for men compared to 6.7 minutes per day for women).
More detailed analysis revealed that the change is largest when people go to university, with overall levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity falling by 11.4 minutes per day.
In the second study, the team looked at the impact of becoming a parent on weight, diet and physical activity.
A meta-analysis of six studies found the difference in change in body mass index (BMI) between remaining without children and becoming a parent was 17 per cent: a woman of average height (164 cm) who had no children gained around 7.5 kg over five to six years, while a mother of the same height would gain an additional 1.3 kg.