One in four heart disease-related deaths could be prevented, U.S. doctors say
Cholesterol, obesity and smoking major factors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, as many as 200,000 Americans could have been spared a premature death in 2010 from a heart attack or stroke. According to researchers, screening and treatment for such preventable causes of heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking could have saved countless lives.
Preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke is defined as those that occurred in people less than 75 years of age that could have been prevented by more effective public health measures, lifestyle changes or medical care.
While the center has long tracked deaths from heart disease, it never previously issued a report estimating how many such deaths could be prevented.
The states with the highest avoidable death rates in 2010 were located primarily in the South, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Louisiana. The states with the lowest rates were Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, Connecticut and New Hampshire, according to the report.
The center is relying on previous success stories to back up their claims, the report also found that preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke fell nearly 30 percent between 2001 and 2010, the report said.
What was highly interesting was the fact that there was a widespread difference in rates by age, geographical region, race and gender, CDC director Thomas N. Frieden said.
"While those who are age 65 to 74 still have the greatest rate of heart attack and stroke, more than half of the preventable deaths - about six in 10 - happen in people under the age of 65," Frieden says.
Preventable deaths declined much more quickly in people aged 65 to 74, which "may well be because they have access to health insurance through their Medicare coverage." Medicare is the U.S. health insurance program for the elderly and disabled.
Men were more than twice as likely as women to die from heart disease and strokes that could have been prevented, the report found. The rate of such deaths for U.S. men in 2010 was 83.7 per 100,000 in 2010 compared with 39.6 per 100,000 for women.
Blacks were twice as likely as whites to die from preventable heart disease and strokes. The rate of avoidable deaths in 2010 from heart disease and stroke in black men was about 80 percent higher than that of white men and black women.
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