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AbledHealth story Banner shows a computer-generated image of a red heart and arteries visible through a bluish x-ray effect of a human chest that shows the ribcage and the outline of the shoulders and arms with the title: heart Disease and Stroke: 200 thousand deaths each year are preventable


Many deaths can be prevented, and improving care can save more lives

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) , about 800 thousand people in the United States die of heart disease and stroke every year. That’s 1 in 3 annual deaths and more than 50% occur in people under 65 years of age, with African American men at highest risk.

Of those 800 thousand, the CDC estimates at least 200 thousand of those deaths could have been prevented. How? By changes in health habits, such as:

  • Stop smoking
  • Cut down or eliminate salt in your diet
  • Be more physically active – take a 10 minute walk 3 times a day, 5 days a week
  • Manage your high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes
  • Communities need to create healthier living spaces, such as more smoke-free areas and safer places to exercise


AbledHealth-Heart disease and Stroke statistical chart shows the number of preventable deaths in people over 65 has steadily decreased from 118 thousand in 2001 to 88 thousand in 2010 while the number of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke among those under 65 has increased from 110 thousand in 2001 to 112 thousand in 2010.


EU death rates from heart disease decline

In the European Union, the picture is just the opposite. 

Death rates from heart disease across the EU have dropped by more than 50% in many countries since the early 1980s, according to new research published recently in the European Heart Journal.

In the majority of countries, there have been ongoing steady reductions in heart disease death rates in both sexes and most age groups, including among younger people, despite increases in obesity and diabetes during this time. However, heart disease remains a leading cause of death in Europe.


Abledhealth - global map of heart disease deaths shows a range of colors assigned with yellow being the lowest and red being the highest . The map shows North America and Western Europe to be mostly yellow with increadingly darker coloring in South America, Africa and the MIddle East evolving to red across the Baltics and Russia.


The study found that Denmark, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the U.K. had the largest drops in mortality for both sexes, ranging from minus 72% for men in Denmark to minus 57% for men in Malta.

At the other end of the spectrum, there were only small and nonsignificant drops among men in Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, contrasting with a 29% spike among Romanian men.

The CDC’s report found that about 80 percent of deaths from coronary artery disease — a name for heart disease caused by narrowing of the arteries which leads to reduced blood flow to the heart — can be attributed to preventable factors like obesity, poor physical activity, heavy drinking, eating unhealthy foods and not keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

The report’s authors say these lifestyle changes could also prevent about 50 percent of stroke deaths:


AbledHealth - Heart Disease and Stroke chart from the Centers For Disease Control shows risk factors and solutions with red clip art and the following text: Nearly 800,000 Americans die each year from heart disease and stroke. Most of the major risk factors can be managed or prevented Risk factors and solutions for managing them  High blood pressure – Make control your goal. High cholesterol – Work with your doctor on a treatment plan to manage your cholesterol. Diabetes – Work with your doctor on a treatment plan to manage your diabetes. Tobacco use – If you don't smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke get help to quit. Unhealthy diet – Eat a healthy diet, low in sodium and trans fats and high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Physical inactivity – The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderateintensity exercise for 2 hours and 30 minutes every week. Obesity – Work to maintain a healthy weight.

Source: CDC

You can read more about the report at the CDC’s VitalSigns page.

You can learn about the ABC’s of heart attack prevention from CBS News:




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