The good news is between 1999 and 2009, the rate of deaths
from cardiovascular disease fell 32.7 percent. Unfortunately, cardiovascular
disease still accounted for nearly one in three deaths in the U.S., and the
sobering statistics continue. According to the American Heart
Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2013,”
published Dec. 12 in Circulation, cardiovascular health may only improve
by six percent if current trends remain.
The report notes that the biggest barriers to improvement
are projected increases in obesity and diabetes, and only modest improvements
in diet and physical activity. However, smoking, high cholesterol and high
blood pressure rates are projected to decline.
Additional statistics include:
- More adults age 20 and
over are obese (34.6 percent) than normal or underweight (31.8 percent); 68.2
percent are overweight or obese.
- Among children ages
2-19, 31.8 percent are overweight or obese.
- Thirty-two percent of
adults report no aerobic activity; 17.7 percent of girls and 10 percent of
boys, grades 9-12, report fewer than an hour of aerobic activity in the past
- 13.8 percent of adults
have total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL or higher.
- Thirty-three percent
of adults have high blood pressure; African-Americans have among the highest
prevalence of high blood pressure (44 percent) worldwide.
- 8.3 percent of adults
have diagnosed diabetes, and 8.2 percent have undiagnosed diabetes; 38.2
percent have prediabetes.
to improving these statistics is the root of the College’s mission: to
transform cardiovascular disease and improve heart health. The College has
partnered with national initiatives like the Million Hearts Campaign, which is jointly managed by
the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has a goal of preventing 1 million
heart attacks and strokes the by the year 2017.
addition, the ACC’s CardioSmart
initiative plays an important role in educating consumers about how to
partner more effectively with their provider to improve heart health.
CardioSmart has a number of tools available to help curb these statistics,
including a smoking cessation text message program, a text message
program to prevent cardiovascular disease, mobile Apps
to help patients remember to take their medications, and much more.
it is also important to keep in mind that these problems go well beyond the U.S.,
and the College has been working with other health organizations to put non
communicable diseases (NCDs) as a top priority. Our recent efforts have paid
off and have led to the adoption of targets to stem preventable death from
cardiovascular disease (read more in a previous blog post here).
working together, and with more education, awareness, preventative measures and
efforts, we are one step closer to changing the statistics and improving the
care of our patients.