Heart Disease Still the Leading Cause of Death in the United States

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Death rates from cardiovascular disease have fluctuated over the years and trended upward recently

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and nearly half of U.S. adults have some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a report published online Jan. 24 in Circulation.

Seth S. Martin, M.D., and colleagues on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee, present the latest data on a range of major clinical heart and circulatory disease conditions and associated outcomes.

The authors note that heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States since 1921, and death rates from CVD have fluctuated over the years and trended upward recently. Although the age-adjusted death rate attributable to CVD decreased 4.7 percent from 2010 to 2020 and the number of people dying of a heart attack each year decreased, deaths attributable to diseases of the heart and CVD increased in the later 2010s to 2020. Overall, 48.6 percent of adults aged 20 years and older have CVD; 9.9 percent have some type of CVD, excluding hypertension. More than half (50.4 percent) and 43 percent of U.S. men and women aged 20 years and older, respectively, have hypertension. Overweight and obesity are seen in more than 71 percent of U.S. adults; only 24.2 percent of U.S. adults meet the national recommendations for physical activity.

“There is still much work to be done in the overall fight against cardiovascular disease,” Martin said in a statement. “Recognizing that most people do not realize heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., it’s imperative that we share the data from our statistics update even more broadly to increase this awareness.”

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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