Navigation Links
Deaths From Heart Disease, Stroke Down 30%

Medical advances, not lifestyle changes, are source of the improvement, AHA says

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. death rates for heart disease and stroke have dropped by about 30 percent since 1999, according to the latest American Heart Association statistics.

The improvement comes even though more Americans are sedentary and obese than ever before, experts noted.

"Our work isn't done, since the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke have not seen the same declines as the death rates, and several [risk factors] are rising," AHA President Dr. Timothy Gardner said in an association news release.

Still, between 1999 and 2006 there was a 30.7 percent decline in coronary heart disease deaths and a 29.2 percent drop in stroke deaths.

The findings were published online Dec. 15 in the AHA journal Circulation.

Despite the recent drop, cardiovascular conditions such as heart attacks and stroke remain the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 34.2 percent of the more than 2.4 million deaths reported in 2006.

And statistics for Americans with heart risk factors remain static. For example, while average cholesterol levels for men 40 and older and women 60 and older dropped from 204 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL between 1999 and 2006, little change was seen for other age groups, the AHA report noted.

Most Americans aren't exercising, either. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of adults reported no vigorous daily activity lasting at least 10 minutes in the 2006 National Health Interview Survey. That exercise threshold is the minimum recommendation for heart-strengthening exercise.

And yet the AHA says it has still met its goal of reducing coronary heart disease and stroke by 25 percent by 2010.

How did this happen? One expert said it's not entirely clear, but advances in medicine might take the lion's share of the credit.

"We can speculate which aspects of cardiology have created the most improvements," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Some interventions have proved to be considerably effective."

She cited stents, the tiny flexible tubes inserted routinely after artery-opening procedures to keep vessels open. Steinbaum also mentioned implanted defibrillators and pacemakers. "All of cardiology has been improving," she said.

Yet the new report also foreshadows future problems, she noted. For example, it is now possible to measure coronary artery calcification -- deposits that can thicken to block arteries. One U.S. study found that 15 percent of men ages 33 to 45 and 5.1 percent of women of the same age already had significant artery calcification, making them more likely to have cardiovascular problems in the years ahead.

America's children aren't in the best shape, either, Steinbaum said. She said there's already been talk of giving cholesterol-reducing statin drugs to young people.

"We might not see any immediate change in the death rate, but we might start seeing a change in incidence," she said. "What concerns me most of all is that we might start seeing an increase in heart disease in young people."

The incidence of overweight (body mass index at the 95th percentile) increased among children 6 to 11 years of age from 4 percent in 1971-74 to 17 percent in 2003-2006, the new report said. Among infants from 6 months to 23 months of age, the prevalence of high weight-for-age was 7.2 percent in 1976-1980 and 11.5 percent in 2003-2006.

It all cycles back to lifestyles, Gardner said.

"The challenge we face with reducing risk factors is figuring out what motivates people to change behavior, narrowing the gaps in gender and socioeconomic disparities, and assessing what we can do on a broad scale to affect the environments where people live, work and play," he said.

More information

There's more on keeping your heart healthy at the American Heart Association.

SOURCE: Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., director of women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Dec. 15, 2008, news release, American Heart Association; Dec. 15, 2008, Circulation

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
2. Hormone therapy for prostate cancer does not appear to increase cardiac deaths
3. Painkillers Linked to Increase in Overdose Deaths
4. Cancer Deaths Take Heavy Financial Toll
5. Worldwide Measles Deaths Drop Dramatically
6. Global Measles Deaths Drop By 74%
7. Drop in cancer deaths tied primarily to gains in behavior and screening
8. ASGE encouraged by drop in colorectal cancer deaths
9. Booze Taxes Lower Alcohol-Linked Deaths
10. Blood pressure control inequality linked to deaths among blacks
11. WomenHeart Urges Women to Talk With Doctors About New Study Showing Statins Prevent Heart Attacks, Deaths
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Deaths From Heart Disease, Stroke Down 30%
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Autism Speaks, the ... global movement driven by social media and the generosity of people around the world. ... their social media networks to give – and share the personal stories behind those ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a ... invention that revolutionizes the vending machine industry by providing healthy and fresh smoothies ... billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. "Shakes ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nashville, Tennessee (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... 2015-2016 Pharmacy Quality Trend Report . Throughout the past year there have been multiple ... more mature state. During this transition, PharmMD has enabled their customers and partners to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dehydration, defined ... much body water to perspiration in the hot sun, and heat stroke and death ... water advocate and radio host Sharon Kleyne. Every cell, system and structure requires water ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... “I am so thrilled, as a newbie here, to leave a ... won a $7,500 School Lounge Makeover® from California Casualty . Stephanie is in her ... has a much longer tenure. , “This is such an amazing school and we deserve ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... The uptake of recently approved and pipeline premium products for Type 1 ... 2021, says GBI Research . --> ... Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM), will be a key driver of market growth to ... The uptake of recently approved and pipeline premium products for Type ... to 2021, says GBI Research . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PAUL, Minn. , Nov. 24, 2015  Enova ... with Novocam of Helsinki, Finland ... Both companies are at the cutting edge of medical ... Headlights in the United States ... dental cameras. Together, they provide the world,s most powerful ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  BioPlast Manufacturing, a manufacturer of plastic components ... and biotech environments, announced today that it has ... dishes. This acquisition is aligned with BioPlast Manufacturing,s ... that are designed and tested by scientists for ... Bristol, Pennsylvania injection ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: