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Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2013

At least 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke each year are preventable: CDC

Nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the US each year is caused by heart disease and stroke. At least 200,000 of these deaths could have been prevented through changes in health habits, such as stopping smoking, more physical activity, and less salt in the diet; community changes to create healthier living spaces, such as safe places to exercise and smoke-free areas; and managing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, according to the September 2013 CDC report, Vital Signs.

More than half of these deaths happened to people younger than 65 years of age, and the overall rate of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke went down nearly 30 percent between 2001 and 2010, with the declines varying by age.

Some of the factoids from the report include:

  • Age: Death rates in 2010 were highest among adults aged 65-74 years (401.5 per 100,000 population).  But preventable deaths have declined faster in those aged 65–74 years compared to those under age 65.
  • Race/ethnicity: Blacks are twice as likely—and Hispanics are slightly less likely—as whites to die from preventable heart disease and stroke.
  • Sex: Avoidable deaths from heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure were higher among males (83.7 per 100,000) than females (39.6 per 100,000). Black men have the highest risk. Hispanic men are twice as likely as Hispanic women to die from preventable heart disease and stroke.
  • Location: By state, avoidable deaths from cardiovascular disease ranged from a rate of 36.3 deaths per 100,000 population in Minnesota to 99.6 deaths per 100,000 in the District of Columbia. By county, the highest avoidable death rates in 2010 were concentrated primarily in the southern Appalachian region and much of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.  The lowest rates were in the West, Midwest, and Northeast regions.

To save more lives from these preventable deaths, doctors, nurses, and other health care providers can encourage healthy habits at every patient visit, including not smoking, increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking medicines as directed.

Communities and health departments can help by promoting healthier living spaces, including tobacco-free areas and safe walking areas. Local communities also can ensure access to healthy food options, including those with lower sodium.

Health care systems can adopt and use electronic health records to identify patients who smoke or who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and help providers follow and support patient progress.

Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke Image/CDC

Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke
Image/CDC

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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