BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular mortality has been declining in Denmark over the past 20 years. Trends in incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) over the period 1982-1991 are described within the framework of the World Health Organization MONICA Project. METHODS: The DAN-MONICA heart register included all cases of MI in 25-74-year-old men and women living in 11 municipalities around Glostrup County Hospital evolving over a period of 10 years. They were identified retrospectively based mainly on relevant ICD diagnoses in death certificates and hospital discharge reports. Cases meeting WHO-MONICA criteria for definite or possible MI, recurrent as well as first-ever MI, were registered. Subsequent tracing of cases through national registers on deaths and hospitalizations by means of the patient's civil registration number ensured the completeness of the registration. RESULTS: A total of 6025 cases of MI occurred in the period, 4532 among men and 1493 among women. A total of 2923 men and 1047 women had a first-ever MI in the period. The age-standardized rates show a definite decline over the registration period for men and a less distinct decline for women. CONCLUSIONS: The DAN-MONICA heart register meets the requirements for completeness and uniformity throughout the registration period. Causes and magnitude of bias are well described. Even when possible sources of bias are taken into account, the incidence of MI decreased significantly over the 10-year-period 1982-1991 by an average of 5.0% per year for men and 3.5% per year for women.
International Journal of Epidemiology, 1999, Vol 28, Issue 2, p. 211-8