One-third of deaths in the United States are caused by cardiovascular disease. Among other risk factors that could use some improving, researchers reported that one-third of adults in the United States have no physical activity outside of work. Photo by American Heart Association
DALLAS, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Cardiovascular disease is the cause of one out of every three deaths in the United States, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association.
While data shows cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in both the United States and around the world, researchers said the numbers on smoking, diet and physical activity show potential to prevent and manage the conditions.
"We need to maintain our vigor and resolve in promoting good cardiovascular health through lifestyle and recognition and treatment of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking," said Dr. Mark Creager, director of the Heart and Vascular Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in a press release. "We've made progress in the fight against cardiovascular disease, but the battle is not won."
Globally, 31 percent of all deaths are from cardiovascular disease, with 80 percent occurring in low- and middle-income countries as of 2013. In the United States, cardiovascular diseases killed 801,000 people, heart disease killed 370,000, and stroke killed nearly 129,000. Additionally, of the 750,000 people in the United States who had a heart attack, 116,000 died.
The researchers said there have been improvements in risk factors during recent years, including strides made to reduce smoking, increase physical activity, and change diet in order to bring body weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar under control.
Despite some progress and increased awareness, 69 percent of adults and 32 percent of children in the United States are overweight or obese, one out of three adults said they engage in no physical activity outside of work, 43 percent of Americans had cholesterol levels that are concerning or high, and 33 percent of adults had high blood pressure.
The study is published in the journal Circulation.