Objectives We aimed to analyse the impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths on life expectancy (LE) in the Chinese population. We also aimed to estimate the percentage reduction in CVD mortality required to increase LE by 1 year from the current level, a national target of health improvement.
Methods We used life tables, cause-elimination life tables, and age decomposition of LE with corrected mortality data from the National Disease Surveillance Point System (DSPs) in 2010.
Results LE of Chinese people at birth was 73.24 years in 2010. Women had a longer LE than did men, and urban residents had a longer LE than did rural residents. CVD deaths accounted for 4.79-year LE loss and premature deaths from people aged 25 to 64 years were responsible for a substantial part of LE loss from CVD. Cerebrovascular disease was the main cause for LE loss that was attributed to CVD deaths. In rural men, 51.1% LE loss from CVD deaths was contributed by cerebrovascular diseases. If there were no changes in mortality rates of all other diseases, a 27.4% reduction in CVD mortality would increase LE by 1 year in the Chinese population.
Conclusions There is a considerable impact of CVD deaths on LE. A 1-year LE increase in the future requires at least a 27.4% reduction in CVD mortality from the current level. Targeting the rural population and cerebrovascular diseases are important for reaching the national target of health improvement.