US Heart Disease Rates

March 22, 2016 by  

US Heart Disease Rates, Over the last 40 years, heart disease rates have dropped in the U.S. overall, but the changes varied widely by region, with the highest rates of the disease shifting from the Northeast to the South, researchers say.

“Heart disease” refers to several conditions including coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attack. Despite the decline in deaths over time, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 600,000 people per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The consistent progression southward over the past few decades suggests that the pattern is not random – and could be attributed to geographic differences in prevention and treatment opportunities,” said lead author Michele Casper of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Identifying those counties and regions with the greatest burden of mortality is a necessary first step to target appropriate resources that will ultimately reduce death rates,” Casper told Reuters Health by email.

The researchers used data on heart disease deaths among people age 35 and over in the U.S. collected in two year intervals, between 1973 and 2010, from more than 3,000 counties of the 48 contiguous states.

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