BACKGROUND: While the excess mortality associated with a diagnosis of angina, myocardial infarction in middle-aged individuals is well established, there is little available evidence on the natural history of angina in population-based studies of older people. DESIGN: We conducted a 5-year follow-up of 6655 older men aged 67-90 years (mean age 77 years) who participated in the Whitehall Study of London Civil Servants. METHODS: Survival was examined in relation to a diagnosis of angina or myocardial infarction and to angina symptoms in a population-based study of older men living in the United Kingdom in the late 1990s. RESULTS: Compared with men without a diagnosis of myocardial ischaemia (n=5219), a diagnosis of angina alone (n=617), myocardial infarction alone (n=421) or both (n=398) were associated with about a threefold, fourfold and sixfold higher risk of death from coronary heart disease, respectively. Median expectation of life at age 70 years was reduced by about 2, 5 and 6 years for those with angina, myocardial infarction, or both, respectively. Current symptoms of angina among those without previously diagnosed angina, was associated with a 2-fold higher risk of coronary heart disease mortality than those without either diagnosis or symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Both angina symptoms and diagnosis have a significant adverse effect on survival among men aged 70-90 years highlighting the importance of diagnosis and appropriate treatment of angina in old age.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil

Publication Date





280 - 286


Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Angina Pectoris, Cause of Death, Coronary Disease, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Life Expectancy, London, Male, Myocardial Infarction, Population Surveillance, Prevalence, Proportional Hazards Models, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Survival Analysis