Although deaths from cardiovascular disease have been declining for many years, continued progress is threatened by disturbing trends in US lifestyles. That’s the clear message from the American Heart Association’s year-end report, “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2013,” published in Circulation.
“Americans need to move a lot more, eat healthier and less, and manage risk factors as soon as they develop,” said Dr. Alan S. Go, the chairman of the report’s writing committee, in an AHA press release. “If not, we’ll quickly lose the momentum we’ve gained in reducing heart attack and stroke rates and improving survival over the last few decades.”
Here are some of the key statistics contained in the hefty report:
“The Epidemic of Poor Health Behaviors”
- Among adults, 21.2% of men and 17.5% of women continued to smoke cigarettes. 18.1% of high school students are smokers.
- Among high school students, 17.7% of girls and 10.0% of boys reported they had less than one hour of moderate-to-vigorous exercise.
- Thirty-three percent of adults reported engaging in no aerobic leisure-time physical activity.
- From 1971 to 2004, calorie intake increased from 1542 to 1886 kcal/d (22%) in women and from 2,450 to 2,693 kcal/d (10%) in men. Most of the change is due to an increased consumtpion of starches, refined grains, and sugars.
- 68.2% of adults are overweight or obese. 34.6% are obese.
- 31.8% of children 2-19 years of age are overweight or obese. 16.9% are obese.
“Prevalence and Control of Health Factors and Risks Remains an Issue for Many Americans”
- 13.8% of US adults have serum serum cholesterol levels ≥240 mg/dL.
- 33.0% of US adults have hypertension. About 82% are aware of their condition, 75% receive antihypertensive therapy, but only a little more than half (53%) have achieved target blood pressure levels.
- 8.3% of US adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. 38.2% have abnormal fasting glucose levels (prediabetes).
CV Disease and Mortality
- Although the percentage of deaths attributable to CV disease has been declining for decades, in 2009 CV disease was responsible for nearly one-third (32.3%) of all deaths in the US.
- About 635,000 people have a first MI or CHD death each year. About 280,000 have a second MI.
- About 795,000 people have a new or recurrent stroke each year.
- The 2009 total direct and indirect estimated cost of CVD and stroke: $312.6 billion.
- The 2008 total direct and indirect estimated cost of all cancer and benign neoplasms: $228 billion