Cardiovascular disease remains leading cause of death in U.S., worldwide

More than 800,000 people in the U.S. and more than 17.3 million people worldwide die of cardiovascular disease per year, according to the American Heart Association (AHA) heart disease and stroke statistics update.

The report, released on Jan. 26, found that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and the world.

Coronary heart disease accounts for 45.1 percent of deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease in the U.S, while stroke accounts for 16.5 percent, high blood pressure account for 9.1 percent, heart failure accounts for 8.5 percent and diseases of the arteries accounts for 3.2 percent.

Although the annual death rate attributable to coronary heart disease declined 35.5 percent from 2004 to 2014, the medical costs of coronary heart disease are projected to increase by approximately 100 percent between 2013 and 2030. Meanwhile, the estimated direct and indirect cost of heart disease was $199.6 billion in 2012 to 2013.

In addition, the stroke death rate decreased 28.7 percent from 2004 to 2014, although approximately 610,000 people experience a new stroke and 185,000 people experience a recurrent stroke each year. In 2013, heart disease and stroke were the leading global causes of death.

The number of adults living with heart failure increased from approximately 5.7 million from 2009 to 2012 to approximately 6.5 million from 2011 to 2014. By 2030, more than 8 million adults are expected to have heart failure.

The report also found that approximately 92.1 million adults in the U.S. are living with cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. The costs of cardiovascular disease and stroke are estimated at more than $316 billion per year, which includes health expenditures and lost productivity.

Further, approximately 790,000 people in the U.S. have heart attacks each year, of whom 114,000 die. The mean age at the first heart attack is 65.3 years old for males and 71.8 for females.

The AHA also provided an update on the Life’s Simple 7 initiative, which has a goal of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020. The Life’s Simple 7 initiative consists of not-smoking, physical activity, healthy diet, body weight and control of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

In 2015, 16.7 percent of males, 13.7 percent of females and 4.9 percent of adolescents from 12 to 17 years old were current smokers. Meanwhile, 30.4 percent of U.S. adults did not engage in leisure time physical activity, and only approximately 27.1 percent of students in grades 9 to 12 met the AHA recommendation of 60 minutes of exercise per day.

Between 2003 to 2004 and 2011 to 2012, the mean AHA healthy diet score improved in children and adults. The improvements were mostly attributable to increased whole grain consumption and decreased sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in children and adults. The prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults, though, increased from 30.5 percent from 1999 to 2000 to 37.7 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Further, approximately 39.7 percent of U.S. adults had a total cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or higher, approximately 11.9 percent had a total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL, approximately 34 percent had high blood pressure, approximately 9.1 percent had diagnosed diabetes and approximately 3.1 percent had undiagnosed diabetes.