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Jan 16, 2015

New Report Conveys Global Impact of Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart disease remains the No. 1 global cause of death, according to updated statistics.

Heart disease remains the No. 1 global cause of death, claiming 17.3 million deaths each year according to the Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2015 Update report recently released by the American Heart Association.

Each year, the American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and other health agencies produce up-to-date statistics about heart diseasestroke and other heart conditions. Not only does updated data bare the collective impact that heart disease has on public health, it helps identify areas in which to focus our efforts to improve the health of the public.

In its most recent update, the American Heart Association reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death across the globe, representing 30% of all global deaths, most of which are in low- and middle-income countries. Stroke remains the second leading cause of death in the world, accounting for 11.3% of total deaths worldwide. It’s estimated that the economic costs of heart disease and stroke exceed $320 billion, after taking into account health expenses and lost productivity.

The good news is that thanks to treatment and prevention, we’ve made some progress in tackling the world’s No. 1 and 2 killers. From 2001 to 2011, the death rate from heart disease fell 39% and the number of stroke deaths dropped by 21% percent in the last decade. However, as experts point out, heart disease and stroke continue to claim an alarming number of lives across the globe and risk factors for heart disease like obesity and diabetes are extremely common.

Based on the latest statistics, heart disease prevention is key. The American Heart Association promotes seven important health factors and behaviors that can drastically reduce risk of developing heart disease, which include not smoking, staying active, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy body weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. Along with proper screening and treatment for heart disease, these steps can help reduce the devastating impact that heart disease has on public health in the United States and around the world.

Questions for You to Consider

  • How can I prevent heart disease?

  • The best ways to help prevent heart disease is by eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, quitting smoking (if a current smoker) and maintaining a healthy weight. Patients should also know their numbers, including blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, which are important to heart health.
  • How can I help prevent stroke?

  • There are many things adults can do to help prevent a stroke. First, maintain a healthy blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, visit your physician to properly treat this condition. Maintaining a healthy diet, weight, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking (if you are a smoker) can also help significantly lower risk for stroke.

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