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Almost half of US adults have cardiovascular disease, says study



And after decades of decline, cardiovascular disease deaths are again rising, with 840,678 deaths in 2016, an increase from 836,546 in 2015, according to an annual report by Heart and Stroke Statistics published in Circulation.

"Cardiovascular disease is creating a huge health and economic burden in the United States and around the world," the authors wrote.

The 48% prevalence of cardiovascular disease – nearly 121.5 million adults – represents a significant increase over the last year's rate, although it was mainly caused by high blood pressure. The guidelines for hypertension have been updated so that people whose blood pressure is 130/80 or higher are now considered "hypertensive"; the earlier definition was 140/90.

With the exception of high blood pressure, the incidence of cardiovascular disease in adults in the US is 9%, a decrease from 11.5% in 2015.

Dr. David Zhao, head of cardiology and executive director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Wake Forest Baptist Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, described a new message as a "painful reminder" that heart disease is still the number one cause of death and disease in the nation.

"Overall, we have made great progress," said Zhao, who did not join the report. Still, "we have not yet made significant advances in obesity, diabetes and unhealthy behavior," which includes smoking, not exercise, poor diet and overweight. Approximately 8 out of every 10 cases of cardiovascular disease can be avoided by controlling high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol and maintaining a healthy lifestyle according to cardiac aggregation.

Scorecard also shows some amazing profits. Self-reported inactivity in adults has been declining since 1998, the trend has been increasing in recent years. Liabilities declined from 40.1% to 26.9% between 2007 and 2016, the report said.

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Over the past five decades, the smoking rate has fallen: in 1965, approximately 51% of men and 34% of women smoked, while in 2015 only 16.7% of men and 13.6% of women.

The new report contains new recommendations for adults to get at least seven hours of sleep per night to promote optimal health. One recent study found that too much or too little – more than eight hours or less than seven hours a night – was associated with a greater risk of death for all reasons.

"We really have to work to reduce all the risk factors to reduce the rate of cardiovascular disease," Zhao said, stressing obesity. Almost 4 out of 10 US adults and almost 1 in 5 young people are obese, while 7.7% of adults and 5.6% of youth are serious, the report said.

In addition, not all groups have taken the same steps in quitting or never smoking cigarettes.

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"A significantly higher prevalence of tobacco use occurs in Indian and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual populations as well as in people with low socio-economic status, mental illness, HIV-receiving people, and those who are military service, "the report said. "There has been a steep increase in the use of electronic cigarettes in adolescents over the past six years."

Overall, Zhao believes that "a lot of work is still needed."

Maybe we see a falling trajectory in some risk factors and cardiovascular diseases, "but we are not there yet," he said. "This is something we all have to start thinking about: What can we do together to really improve our health, healthy behavior and reduce our weight?"


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