Report: Heart disease, stroke deaths hitting middle age adults

Despite being largely preventable, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and other related conditions caused 2.2 million hospitalizations in 2016, resulting in $32.7 billion in costs and 415,000 deaths, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Many of these events were in adults ages 35-64, with over 775,000 hospitalizations and 75,000 deaths occurring within this group in 2016, the CDC in reporting in September on the findings.

If every state reduced these life-changing events by 6 percent every year, one million cardiac events could be prevented by 2022, the CDC said in its report.

This report provides new state-specific data on emergency department visits, hospitalizations and costs, and deaths due to heart disease and stroke. It gives states benchmark information to improve their residents’ health.

“Adults can seize the day using daily opportunities to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC. “Many of these cardiovascular events are happening to middle-aged adults— who we wouldn’t normally consider to be at risk. Most of these events can be prevented through daily actions to help lower risk and better manage medical conditions.”

“The solution for this national crisis does not depend on a brilliant new discovery or a breakthrough in science,” said Dr. Janet Wright, a board-certified cardiologist and executive director of the Million Hearts initiative. “The solution already lies deep within every person, community, and health-care setting across America. Small changes – the right changes, sustained over time – can produce huge improvements in cardiovascular health.”

The staggering number of cardiovascular deaths and hospitalizations arise from opportunities missed every day in finding and treating the common, controllable causes of cardiovascular diseases, the CDC said.

This report shows that:

■ 9 million American adults are not yet taking aspirin as recommended

■ 40 million adults with high blood pressure are not yet under safe control

■ 39 million adults can benefit from managing their cholesterol

■ 54 million adults are smokers – most of whom want to quit

■ 71 million adults are not physically active

This Vital Signs report is based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project databases, the National Vital Statistics System, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Health Interview Survey.

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