MHLU - Health Status Resource

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease

Key Findings: 
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) was the leading cause of hospitalizations and death in Middlesex-London (Fig. 3.6)

There were significant downward trends in the rates of Cardiovascular disease (CVD) hospitalizations between 2003 and 2013 and CVD deaths between 2000 and 2011.  The CVD hospitalization rates have leveled off in more recent years (Fig. 6.3 and Fig. 6.5).

There was a steady and significant increase in rates of hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease as age increased (Fig. 6.4).

  • Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD)
  • Rates of ischemic heart disease, a sub-category of cardiovascular disease, went down between 2003 and 2013.  The difference over time was statistically significant (Fig. 6.6).
  • As seen in hospitalization rates for all cardiovascular disease, the rates of ischemic heart disease were significantly lower in Middlesex-London than both Ontario and the Peer Group (Fig. 6.6).
  • Males had significantly higher IHD-related hospitalization rates than females and the rate increased with age (data not shown).


  • For hospitalization rates of hypertension there was no significant change between 2003 and 2013 (Fig. 6.7).
  • Unlike hospitalization rates for other cardiovascular diseases like IHD Middlesex-London did not differ significantly from Ontario and the Peer Group (Fig. 6.7).
  • Rates increased with age but there was no significant difference between males and females (data not shown). 

Cerebrovascular Disease

  • The age-standardized hospitalization rate for cerebrovascular disease (including stroke) decreased significantly between 2003 and 2008, but increased again after that (Fig. 6.8).
  • The rate in Middlesex-London was significantly lower than the rate in Ontario and the Peer Group until 2008, but was not significantly different from these comparison groups between 2009 and 2013 (Fig. 6.8).

Similar to hospitalization rates for other cardiovascular diseases like IHD, males tended to have a higher rate than females (although not statistically significant in all years) and the rate increased with age (data not shown).


  • For stroke, a sub-category of cerebrovascular disease, hospitalization rates decreased significantly between 2003 and 2008, but went up somewhat after that.  The difference between 2003 and 2013 is not statistically significant (Fig. 6.9).

As with cerebrovascular disease in general men tended to have higher rates of stroke than females, but this difference was only significant in some years.  The rate increased with age (data not shown).


Interpretive Notes

Hospitalizations are a great way to measure chronic conditions because they capture the many different types occurring in the community. They are not, however, a perfect measure as they only represent episodes of disease severe enough to require a hospital admission.

Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol - Section 1, Subsections b-iii, vii

Chronic Disease Prevention Standard - Requirement #1

Jargon Explained

Age-standardized rate 

Age-standardized rates may be used to compare different geographic areas or time frames to adjust for any differences in the age structure of the populations that could cause a difference in rates.

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Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is a term that refers to more than one disease of the circulatory system including the heart and blood vessels, whether the blood vessels are affecting the lungs, the brain, kidneys or other parts of the body. 

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