Nearly half of Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease, a significant increase over previous years due primarily to new criteria for defining high blood pressure, the American Heart Association said Thursday.
According to a study by the American Heart Association (AHA) published in the journal Circulation, some 121.5 million adults were affected in 2016 in the United States by “a type of cardiovascular disease.”
Cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and high blood pressure.
The American Association of Cardiology and the American College of Cardiology lowered the rate at which high blood pressure is defined to 130/80 mmHg instead of 140/90 mmHg.
If high blood pressure was not taken into account in the new AHA statistics, only 9% of US adults (24.3 million in 2016) would be considered to have cardiovascular disease.
“As one of the most common and dangerous risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke, this overwhelming proportion of high blood pressure can not be ruled out in our fight against cardiovascular disease,” commented Ivor Benjamin. , AHA Volunteer Chair and Director, Cardiovascular Center, Wisconsin College of Medicine.
“Studies have shown that eliminating high blood pressure may have a greater impact on cardiovascular death in women than any other risk factor; same thing for men except tobacco “.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. In 2016, they were responsible for 17.6 million deaths, compared with 17.9 million the previous year.
A downward trend that is not true in the United States.
“After decades of steady decline in the United States, the number of deaths related to cardiovascular disease is increasing (840,678 deaths in 2016 compared to 836,546 in 2015),” notes the AHA study.
The association recalls that the vast majority of cardiovascular diseases (80%) can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle – eating healthy, exercising, not smoking – and controlling its blood pressure and diabetes rates and cholesterol.
Ruth Huggins is the lead editor for Winged Express. Ruth has been working as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade having published stories in many print and digital publications including, NPR and the Hillsboro Banner. Ruth is based in Denver and covers issues affecting her city and Douglas County. When she’s not busy writing, Ruth enjoys skiing and cycling.