Data from 10,359 men and women aged 40-59 years from 22 districts in the Scottish Heart Health Study were used to describe the prevalence rates of coronary heart disease in Scotland in 1984-1986 and their relation to the geographical variation in mortality in these districts. Prevalence was measured by previous history, Rose chest pain questionnaire, and the Minnesota code of a 12 lead resting electrocardiogram. The prevalence of coronary heart disease in Scotland was high compared with studies from other countries that used the same standardised methods. A history of angina was more common in men (5.5%) than in women (3.9%), though in response to the Rose questionnaire 8.5% of women and 6.3% of men reported chest pain. A history of myocardial infarction was three times more common in men than women, as was a Q/QS pattern on the electrocardiogram. There were significant correlations between the different measures of coronary prevalence. District measures of angina correlated well with mortality from coronary heart disease, and these correlations tended to be stronger in women than in men. There was no significant correlation between mortality from coronary heart disease and measures of myocardial infarction. The study provides data on the prevalence of coronary heart disease in men and women that are valuable for the planning of cardiological services.
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