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Heart and stroke death rates steadily decline; risks still too high
Date:1/22/2008

In an appropriate prelude to American Heart Month, which is just ahead in February, new mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that, since 1999, coronary heart disease and stroke age-adjusted death rates are down by 25.8 percent and 24.4 percent, respectively. This means that the American Heart Associations 2010 strategic goal for reducing deaths from coronary heart disease has been achieved, and for stroke nearly achieved ahead of time. However, potential problems loom for the future, as all of the major risk factors for these leading causes of death are still too high and several are actually on the rise. If this trend continues, death rates could begin to rise again in years ahead.

In 1999, the American Heart Association set a strategic goal of reducing the death rates from coronary heart disease and stroke, and reducing the risk factors for these diseases by 25 percent by 2010. The new CDC data notes early success in meeting the coronary heart disease death rate goal, and shows that success is near for the 25 percent reduction in stroke. However, American Heart Association president Dan Jones, M.D., said the victory could be short-lived if the risk factors that lead to heart disease and stroke are not also reduced.

This progress in the reduction of death rates is a landmark achievement, and has come about as a result of tremendous efforts from many partners in research, healthcare, government, business and communities, Jones said. As encouraging as it is, heart disease and stroke remain the No. 1 and No. 3 causes of death in the United States. We still have remaining goals that we havent yet met reductions in the risk factors that lead to heart disease and stroke, as well as eliminating the striking disparities in care for women and minority populations. We must continue to address those concerns at the same time we continue to support the advances that we know are saving lives today. '/>"/>

Contact: Cathy Lewis
cathy.lewis@heart.org
214-706-1324
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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