Heart disease continues to be one of the leading killers nationwide, according to the latest statistics from the American Heart Association.
The association’s 2016 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, published Dec. 16, shows one out of every three deaths in the U.S. in 2013 were caused by heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions. Heart disease and stroke were the number one and number two killers worldwide, according to the report.
Although health officials have made progress in reducing heart disease and stroke deaths, the numbers are still alarming to experts, an AHA news release said. In the U.S., cardiovascular disease killed 801,000 people in 2013, and more than 370,000 people dying from heart disease. The data also showed heart nearly 129,000 people died from stroke and about 116,000 of the 750,000 people in the U.S. who had a heart attack died.
African Americans are nearly twice at risk for first-ever stroke than whites, the report showed, with about 48% of adult women and 46% of adult men having some form of cardiovascular disease.
Worldwide, 31% of deaths were from cardiovascular disease as of 2013. A majority of cardiovascular disease deaths — 80% — took place in low and middle income countries. Stroke caused 11.8% of deaths worldwide, with 16.9 million people globally having their first stroke in 2010, according to the report.
Lifestyle changes that could reduce risk of heart disease and stroke are slightly increasing, though high rates of obesity and lack of physical activity among U.S. adults remain. The AHA refers to health factors and behaviors known to promote ideal cardiovascular health, known as Life’s Simple 7, the report said. Included in these factors are smoking status, physical activity, healthy diet, body weight and control of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
The number of U.S. children eating ideal diets increased from 0.2% to 0.6% in children between 2003 to 2004 and 2011 to 2012. For adults, that number rose from 0.7% to 1.5%, the report showed.
Still, nearly 160,000 people in the U.S. — 69% of adults and 32% of children — were overweight or obese between 2009 and 2012, the report said. Although cigarette smoking has dropped nearly 30% since 1998, nearly 19% of men and 15% of women in the U.S. still smoke. About one in three U.S. also reported no physical activity, according to the AHA data.
For cholesterol, researchers found about 43% of Americans had a total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or higher from 2009 to 2012 and about 80 million adults had high blood pressure during that period. The blood pressure numbers were higher for African Americans, with 46% of women having high blood pressure and 45% of men living with the condition, according to the AHA.
The report also showed 9% of Americans have diagnosed diabetes while 35% have prediabetes.
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