RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — This past week the American Heart Association released the latest statistics on heart disease and stroke in the U.S.
Nearly 800,000 people die from heart disease every single year. The report tells us that rates of heart failure are on the increase.
- What are the risk factors for heart disease?
Risk factors include diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, male sex and family history. Some risk factors are inherited or genetic like gender and family history—others are modifiable.
- What did the new AHA statistics tell us about heart disease in the U.S.?
Almost 800,000 people die from heart disease every single year. The rates of death from heart disease have remained constant over the last several years. But over the last decade, deaths from heart disease have fallen nearly 25 percent from 2004 to 2014. Almost 350,000 Americans had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and died last year. The latest statistics also show us that deaths from heart failure—when the heart muscle no longer pumps efficiently—are on the rise. In fact, experts predict that heart failure deaths will rise by 46 percent by the year 2030 unless we make a change now.
Heart attacks strike about 790,000 people in the United States each year, and kill about 114,000. The update found similar numbers for stroke. In 2014, about 795,000 Americans had a new or repeat stroke, and 133,000 of them died.
- What can we do to reduce death from heart disease?
The update had one other bit of positive news — physical activity increased more than seven percent from 1998 to 2015.
The best thing we can all do to prevent heart disease is to make sure that if you have a risk factor that you work to modify it—control blood pressure, control cholesterol, manage diabetes, get regular exercise and eat a heart healthy diet.
Work with your doctor to assess your risk and make a plan to reduce your risk.