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Latest stats highlight prevalence of heart disease, stroke

Heart disease and stroke remain two of the leading causes of mortality in the U.S. and pose a significant threat to millions of people, according to the American Heart Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2014.”

The update, published Dec. 18 on the website of the journal Circulation, reflects the most up-to-date statistics on heart disease, stroke, other vascular diseases and their risk factors. It is described as the only source for current prevalence data on cardiovascular health.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke is the No. 4 cause. The association compiled this update with the CDC, the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies.

Cardiovascular diseases

More than 787,000 people in the U.S. died from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in 2010, accounting for about one of every three deaths in the nation that year.

About 2,150 Americans die each day from these diseases, one every 40 seconds.

Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

About 83.6 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.

Direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke total more than $315.4 billion. That includes health expenditures and lost productivity.

Heart disease

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the world and the leading cause of death in the United States, killing almost 380,000 Americans a year.

Heart disease accounts for one in six deaths in the U.S.

Someone in the U.S. dies from heart disease about once every 90 seconds.

Heart disease strikes someone in the U.S. about once every 34 seconds.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.


Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 129,000 people a year.

Stroke kills someone in the U.S. about once every four minutes.

About 795,000 people have a stroke every year.

Someone in the U.S. has a stroke about once every 40 seconds.

Someone in the U.S. dies from a stroke every four minutes.

Health factors

The American Heart Association gauges the cardiovascular health of the nation by tracking seven key health factors and behaviors that increase risks for heart disease and stroke.

These “Life’s Simple 7” measures help the association track progress toward the 2020 Impact Goal of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% and reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20% by the year 2020.

“Life’s Simple 7” measures are: not smoking, physical activity, healthy diet, body weight and control of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Some key facts related to these factors:

Smoking: 18% of students in grades 9-12 report being current smokers. Among adults, 21% of men and 16% of women are smokers.

Physical activity: About one in every three U.S. adults — 30% — reports participating in no leisure-time physical activity.

Healthy diet: Less than 1% of U.S. adults meet the American Heart Association’s definition for “Ideal Healthy Diet.” Essentially no children meet the definition. Of the five components of a healthy diet (specific amounts of fruits and vegetables, fish and fiber-rich whole grains, and restricted amounts of sodium and sugar-sweetened beverages), reducing sodium and increasing whole grains are the biggest challenges.

Overweight/obesity: Most Americans older than 20 are overweight or obese. About 155 million U.S. adults — or about 68% — are overweight or obese, as are about 32% of children.

Cholesterol: About 43% of Americans have total cholesterol higher of 200 or higher, including 48% of Mexican-American men, 46% of white women, 45% of Mexican-American women, 41% of black women, 41% of white men and 39% of black men. About 14% of Americans have total cholesterol over 240.

Hypertension: About 78 million U.S. adults, or about 33% of the adult hypertension have hypertension. About 75% of those are using antihypertensive medication, but only 53% have their condition controlled.

Blood sugar/diabetes: About 20 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. That’s slightly more than 8% of the adult population. About 38% of Americans have prediabetes.

Report (PDF):


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By | 2013-12-19T00:00:00-05:00 December 19th, 2013|Categories: National|0 Comments

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