Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Policies for Better Health and Quality of Care

image of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Policies for Better Health and Quality of Care

This report examines how countries perform in their ability to prevent, manage and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. The last 50 years have witnessed remarkable improvements in CVD outcomes. Since 1960, overall CVD mortality rates have fallen by over 60%, but these improvements are not evenly spread across OECD countries, and the rising prevalence of diabetes and obesity are threatening to offset gains.

This report examines how OECD countries deliver the programmes and services related to CVD and diabetes. It considers how countries have used available health care resources to reduce the overall burden of CVD and diabetes, and it focuses on the variation in OECD health systems’ ability to convert health care inputs (such as expenditure) into health gains.



Assessment and recommendations

The mortality rate attributable to CVD has declined substantially in recent decades. Over the 50-year period since 1960, average mortality rates for CVD fell by 61%. CVD mortality rates started to decrease in the 1970s and in the 1980s the rate of decrease accelerated even further. Prior to 1985, CVD accounted for one in every two deaths in OECD countries, but by 2011 this had dropped to around one in every three. The reduction in CVD mortality accounts for 60% of the decline in all-cause mortality. Despite these gains, CVD remains the most common cause of death in most OECD countries.


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