Kiwis’ killer heart attack record

By Peter Griffin 22/04/2010 3


The Press carried some sobering statistics this morning about how we are leaders among comparable countries in the developed world when it comes to dying from heart attacks.

As The Press health reporter Rebecca Todd explains:

Sixty-three New Zealanders per 100,000 die of heart attacks every year, the report on developed nations shows.

The next highest is Britain, with 45 per 100,000, while France has just 21 deaths.

For Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the median is 44.

Here’s how The Press chose to get that across visually – does it hammer home the message?

Source: The Press
Source: The Press

3 Responses to “Kiwis’ killer heart attack record”

  • Of course, you guys also have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. One must die of something, mustn’t one? How do you stack up if you look at, say, 60-70–year-olds?

  • The Press cited the John Hopkins report accurately, apart from the percent sign next to the 63.1 (it is per 100,000, not 63.1%). However, I must add a note about the original data for this (The Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data, 2008, Gerard F. Anderson and Patricia Markovich, Johns Hopkins University). The Johns Hopkins data is flawed in that it compared data collected in different years; NZ and Canadian data from 2004, data for UK, USA and France from 2005 and for Germany and the Netherlands from 2006. Because mortality from myocardial infarction has been decreasing markedly every year, such a comparison is seriously flawed. Curiously, 2005 data for NZ is provided in the source OECD report (57.4 per 100,000, as opposed to 63.1), which although higher than the other countries named, is not as dramatic. Other countries in the OECD report could have been included that had even higher rates than NZ in 2005 (Mexico – 73.2, Hungary – 71.5, Finland – 65.2, Ireland – 59.6).