AHA: Nearly Half of Adults in the United States Have Cardiovascular Disease

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Although nutrition has improved in recent years, the prevalence of obesity has increased.
Although nutrition has improved in recent years, the prevalence of obesity has increased.

HealthDay News — The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is 48.0 percent in adults in the United States based on 2013 to 2016 data, according to a report published online Jan. 31 in Circulation.

Emelia J. Benjamin, M.D., from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues compiled up-to-date statistics relating to heart disease, stroke, and seven cardiovascular risk factors.

According to the report, the prevalence of CVD was 48.0 percent overall (121.5 million in 2016) based on data from 2013 to 2016. Coronary heart disease accounted for about 13 percent of deaths in 2016, while stroke accounted for one in every 19 deaths. In terms of risk factors, in 2016, 15.5 percent of adults were current smokers, while 5.3 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years reported using tobacco products and 3.4 percent had smoked cigarettes in the previous month. 

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More than one-quarter (26.9 percent) of adults did not engage in leisure-time physical activity in 2016; only 27.1 percent of students in grades 9 to 12 met the recommended level of exercise in 2015. Although nutrition has improved in recent years, the prevalence of obesity has increased. Based on data from 2013 to 2016, 46.0 percent of U.S. adults have hypertension; 82,735 deaths were primarily attributable to high blood pressure in 2016.

These data "hold us accountable and help us chart our progress and determine if and how we need to adjust our efforts," Mariell Jessup, M.D., chief science and medical officer of the American Heart Association, writes in an accompanying editorial.

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