Health policies and data

Health Care Quality Indicators - Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes


Policies for better health system performance

CVD is the number one cause of mortality in most OECD countries and accounts for around a third of all deaths. Many more patients suffer considerable loss in their quality of life due to CVD, particularly through stroke and congestive heart failure. Rising levels of obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure have led to more people being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, which in turn is a key risk factor for CVD and diabetes.   

Despite its number one ranking, mortality rates have shown considerable improvement over recent decades. On average, OECD member countries have reduced their CVD mortality rate by 42% over the twenty year period to 2005. However, the improvements are not uniform across countries with some countries able to reduce CVD-related mortality by more than 50% and others reducing their rates by less than 30%. These figures raise important questions on why success has varied so much across countries and to what degree do health care systems and policies contribute to this variation?

This OECD project will examine how countries perform in their ability to prevent, manage and treat cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. The main purpose of this project is to explore the reasons behind the reported differences in the overall health burden due to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The project will assess performance through countries’ ability to convert health care resources to improved outcomes for patients with CVD or diabetes. It will focus on the role of new and innovative health care policies, access to health care services, quality of care initiatives as well as new technologies on improving CVD and diabetes outcomes.

The project will employ econometric techniques to analyse health system performance using the longitudinal database OECD Health Statistics, supplemented by information from the OECD’s Health Systems Characteristics Survey.



The project is set for completion by the end of 2014 with the final report set to be published in 2015.



Rie Fujisawa:


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Health Care Quality Indicators