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New CDC Vital Signs: CDC finds 200,000 heart disease and stroke deaths could be prevented

More than 200,000 preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke occurred in the United States in 2010, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  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.  Lack of access to preventive screenings and early treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol could explain the differences among age groups.

  • 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.

Learn more about CDC’s heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure initiatives, and the national Million Hearts initiative.

Graphics / Images

  • Infographic: Your chances of dying early from heart disease and stroke depend on many factors.

    Your chances of dying early from heart disease and stroke depend on many factors.

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  • Infographic: Heart disease and stroke kill 800,000 Americans every year - but they don't have to.

    Heart disease and stroke kill 800,000 Americans every year - but they don't have to.

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  • Infographic: Black men have the highest risk of dying from preventable heart disease and stroke.

    Black men have the highest risk of dying from preventable heart disease and stroke.

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  • Infographic: Do you know the ABCS of heart health?

    Do you know the ABCS of heart health? Asprin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, Smoking cessation

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  • Botón de la campana Signos Vitales: Las enfermedades cardiacas y los accidentes cerebrovasculares matan a unas 800.000 personas en EE.UU. cada año, pero no tiene que ser así. Entérese por qué.

    Botón de la campana Signos Vitales: Las enfermedades cardiacas y los accidentes cerebrovasculares matan a unas 800.000 personas en EE.UU. cada año, pero no tiene que ser así. Entérese por qué.

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  • Photo: Hands typing

    Find more information online at http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp

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  • Photo: Spilled salt shaker

    Lowering sodium in your diet can help lower blood pressure

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  • Photo: Spilled salt shaker

    Regular monitoring of your blood pressure is an important part of blood pressure control

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  • Inforgraphic: Progress in saving lives

    Top graphic: Important progress has been made, but more is needed to continue to save lives, particularly for people under 65 years. (Larger image | Text version)
    Bottom graphic: Black men are at highest risk of dying early from heart diseases and stroke. (Larger image | Text version)

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  • Inforgraphic: Counties in southern states have the greatest risk overall

    Risk of preventable death from heart disease and stroke varies by county, even within the same state. Counties in southern states have the greatest risk overall

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  • Inforgraphic: Preventable Death Rates by State, Ages 0 to 74, 2010

    In 2010, states with the highest risk of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths are Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia. States with the lowest risk are Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington.

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  • Inforgraphic: Preventable Death Rates by County, Ages 0 to 74, 2008-2010

    Counties with the highest risk of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths from 2008-2010 are located primarily in the southern Appalachian region and much of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, whereas the lowest risk counties are located in the West, Midwest, and Northeast census regions. States with the greatest difference in county rates include Colorado, Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland.

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  • Inforgraphic: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke

    Inforgraphic: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke
    Entire Infographic [259KB]

    This is a description for image 1

  • Inforgraphic: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke

    Inforgraphic: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke
    Entire Infographic [279KB]

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Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Spokespersons

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH

Biography

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

Despite progress against heart disease and stroke, hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from these preventable causes of death. Many of the heart attacks and strokes that will kill people in the coming year could be prevented by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and stopping smoking.

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH - Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Linda Schieb, MSPH

Biography

Photo: Linda Schieb, MSPH

Too many lives are being cut short due to heart disease and stroke. Many of these deaths could be prevented by improving health-care systems, creating healthy places to live and play, and supporting healthy lifestyle choices. Everyone has a role in saving these lives, as a nation we can do better.

Linda Schieb, MSPH - Epidemiologist, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, CDC

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