The death rate from coronary heart disease could be levelling off or even rising amongst young women after over three decades of decline.
Steven Allender, from Oxford's Division of Public Health and Primary Care, and colleagues report that high levels of smoking, increased obesity and lack of exercise could be contributing to this trend seen in women under the age of 50.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common cause of death in the UK (100,000 each year) and includes disorders such as heart attacks and angina. It happens when arteries supplying blood to the heart narrow.
The researchers found that (CHD) mortality rates in England and Wales peaked in the 1970s and have been falling ever since: levels are now much lower than throughout most of the last Century
Steven comments: 'We observed that CHD mortality among younger age groups has increased in those born in the early 20th century compared to those born in the late 19th century. This requires further study as the public health implications of a decline in survival from CHD in younger age groups may be stark.'