NCHS: 45% of adult Americans suffer from cardiac-related diseases

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Nearly 45 percent of the population suffers from hypertension, hypercholesterolemia or diabetes and a majority go undiagnosed. Additionally, incidence rates of these chronic conditions differ among racial and ethnic groups, according to data published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

“Hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes are all chronic conditions associated with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.,” the authors wrote.

Cheryl D. Fryar, MSPH, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s NCHS, and colleagues compared the prevalence of diagnosed hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes among three racial and ethnic groups: non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans.

The researchers found that 45 percent of all adults 20 or older showed signs of at least one of the aforementioned comorbidities. Additionally, 13 percent of adults had at least two of these conditions while 3 percent were diagnosed with all three.

During the analysis, the researchers concluded that occurrence rate of the three conditions vary by racial and ethnic groups.

These data showed that 42.5 percent of non-Hispanic blacks have a higher incidence rate of hypertension compared to non-Hispanic whites, 29.1 percent. For hypercholesterolemia, higher rates occurred in non-Hispanic whites, while diabetes were most prominent in the Mexican-American population followed by non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites, 15.3, 14.6 and 9.9 percent, respectively.

Non-Hispanic blacks are most likely to have one or more of the cormobidites, diagnosed or undiagnosed.

Importantly, the study showed that almost 8 percent of the entire U.S. adult population has undiagnosed hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, while 3 percent have undiagnosed diabetes.

Additionally, one in seven adults—15 percent—has one or more of the comorbidities but go undiagnosed. According to the authors, these results were similar amongst all racial and ethnic groups.

According to NCHS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion are working to abolish health discrepancies such as the ones above with its Healthy People 2010 and 2011 initiatives.

Data for the review were obtained from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2006.