December 12th, 2012

State of the Heart: AHA Publishes Year-End Statistical Update

Although deaths from cardiovascular disease have been declining for many years, continued progress is threatened by disturbing trends in U.S. 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 continue to smoke cigarettes. 18.1% of high school students are smokers.
  • Among high school students, 17.7% of girls and 10.0% of boys report they did less than one hour of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week.
  • 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/day (22%) in women and from 2450 to 2693 kcal/day (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 to 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 U.S. adults have serum serum cholesterol levels ≥240 mg/dL.
  • 33.0% of U.S. adults have hypertension. About 82% are aware of their condition, and 75% receive antihypertensive therapy, but only a little more than half (53%) have achieved target blood pressure levels.
  • 8.3% of U.S. 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 U.S.
  • 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 was $312.6 billion.
  • The 2008 total direct and indirect estimated cost of all cancer and benign neoplasms was $228 billion.

One Response to “State of the Heart: AHA Publishes Year-End Statistical Update”

  1. Dan Hackam, MD PhD says:

    46.5% of the general population is diabetic or prediabetic! Something is clearly wrong when nearly 1 in 2 people are on the fast track to type 2 diabetes!