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OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of cardiovascular disease among elderly people and to investigate the use of cardiovascular medication in this group. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: A quarter in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. METHODS: As a part of the 'Rotterdam elderly study', the cardiovascular anamnesis of 7.983 responding persons > or = 55 years (3105 men and 4878 women) was obtained by means of a questionnaire. RESULTS: Twelve and 4% of men and women, respectively, had at some time had a myocardial infarction, and 5 and 4% a stroke. Almost 7% of both sexes had anamnestic symptoms of angina pectoris. Coronary bypass surgery and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty were done in 4% and 1% of men and 1% and 0.5% of women, respectively. Of all participants 43% used at least one drug for cardiovascular purposes. Half of these used two or more, and a quarter used three or more drugs. Among women, diuretics were the most commonly used drug for cardiovascular purposes (21%), whereas among men beta-blocking agents were most common (15%). CONCLUSION: Cardiovascular diseases are common among elderly men and women. Many of them take at least one drug for cardiovascular purposes.


Journal article


Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde

Publication Date





1978 - 1982


Erasmus Universiteit, Instituut Epidemiologie en Biostatistiek, Rotterdam.


Humans, Cerebrovascular Disorders, Cardiovascular Diseases, Myocardial Infarction, Cardiovascular Agents, Coronary Artery Bypass, Prevalence, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Drug Utilization, Netherlands, Female, Male, Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary