Studies were made for evidence of heart disease on 501 people aged 65 and more living at home; 22-4 per cent had clinical and/or electrocardiographic evidence of ischaemic heart disease. The prevalence of ischaemic heart disease increased with age, and was slightly greater in men than women. The frequency of ischaemic heart disease increased with increasing current cigarette consumption and with total cigarette consumption. There was no increase in relation to any of the following possible risk factors: systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose, serum cholesterol, skinfold thickness, percentage of ideal body weight. The survival over a 5-year period of all subjects with ischaemic heart disease did not differ significantly from that of all subjects together, but the mortality of subjects with ischaemic heart disease and an abnormal electrocardiogram was 1-5 to 2 times that of subjects in whom ischaemic heart disease was diagnosed on the basis of angina pectoris or past cardiac infarction, the electrocardiogram being normal.
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