1 Introduction

As you probably know, ARIC conducted community surveillance of coronary heart disease (CHD) death, myocardial infarction (MI), and heart failure (HF). Surveillance of CHD and MI was conducted from 1987 - 2014, and surveillance of HF was conducted from 2005 - 2014. The table below helps to clarify that information:

Outcome Years Age group
CHD/MI 1987-2014 35-74
CHD/MI 2005 - 2014 35-84
HF 2005 - 2014 55+

Surveillance studies attempt to capture every single event in the population under study. This goal makes surveillance studies expensive and painstaking to conduct. To study trends in the rates of CHD, MI, and HF over time, one needs:

  1. the number of events; and
  2. the number of people in the population at risk.

Most of the effort in ARIC community surveillance went into #1. To accomplish #2, ARIC created very specific geographic areas (i.e., “catchment areas”) and used data from the US Census to interpolate the yearly population in each catchment area.