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Some Improvement in Heart Risk Factors for Americans: CDC
Date:8/3/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- About 47 percent of American adults have at least one risk factor for heart disease, according to a new report released Friday.

These risk factors include uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and smoking, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We have seen declines [in risk factors], but there's still work to be done," said the report's lead author, CDC health statistician Cheryl Fryar.

Findings of the report, culled from data gathered from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, included:

  • A drop in the rate of adults with at least one risk factor from 58 percent in 1999 to 46.5 percent in 2010.
  • Men (52 percent) are more likely than women (41 percent) to have one of these risk factors.
  • From 1999 to 2010, there was a drop in the percentage of whites and Mexican Americans who had at least one risk factor (about 47 percent and 45 percent respectively).
  • There was no decline in the percentage of blacks with these risk factors, which remained at 58 percent.
  • The prevalence of uncontrolled high blood pressure and uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol dropped between 1999 and 2010 (almost 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively).
  • There was no drop in the percentage of adult cigarette smokers, which remained at 25 percent of adults 20 and older.
  • Disparities remain among people of different income levels and racial and ethnic groups.

"Cardiovascular disease and stroke are largely preventable, with uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol levels and smoking representing major modifiable risk factors in men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and all income levels," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, spokesman for the American Heart Association and professor of cardiovas
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