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Heart disease deaths in U.S. on rise: study

(Xinhua)    10:06, August 28, 2019

CHICAGO, Aug. 27 -- Total deaths from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension, known collectively as cardio-metabolic disease, have been increasing since 2011 in the United States, a Northwestern Medicine study showed.

However, majority of these deaths are preventable, the study authors believed.

The researchers examined data from all U.S. deaths between 1999 and 2017 from the Centers for Disease Control's Wide-Ranging Online Database for Epidemiological Research (WONDER), with a specific focus on deaths caused by heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension.

They adjusted for age to account for different ages in the population.

While the overall rate of heart disease deaths decreased over time, the rate of decline slowed after 2010.

To be specific, deaths from stroke and diabetes declined from 1999 to 2010 but leveled off after that; deaths from high blood pressure increased between 1999 and 2017; cardio-metabolic death rates for black Americans remain higher than those for white Americans, the study found.

The culprit may be the rise in obesity in recent decades. Although this dataset did not allow for identification of the causes of the worsening cardio-metabolic disease trends, the prevalence of obesity has risen significantly since 2011, and obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, the researchers said.

"Cornerstones of good cardio-metabolic health include maintaining a normal body weight, eating a healthful diet, staying physically active and not smoking," said first author Nilay Shah, a cardiology fellow at Feinberg and Northwestern Medicine. "These actions are important to preventing heart disease, no matter your age."

It is critical that prevention and management of risk factors for cardio-metabolic health begins early in life, said senior author Sadiya Khan, assistant professor of cardiology and epidemiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine cardiologist.

The findings are published in JAMA on Tuesday.

Northwestern Medicine is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, which includes research, teaching and patient care.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shi Xi, Bianji)

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