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Vital Signs: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease & Stroke

More than 200,000 preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke occurred in the United States in 2010, according to a new Vital Signs report from the CDC. More than half of these deaths happened to people younger than age 65. Blacks are nearly twice as likely as whites to die from preventable heart disease and stroke.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., says cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, kill nearly 800,000 Americans each year or nearly 1 in 3 deaths.

"Despite progress against heart disease and stroke, hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from these preventable causes of death. Many of the heart attacks and strokes that will kill people in the coming year could be prevented by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and stopping smoking," he said.

The Vital Signs report looked at preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke defined as those that occurred in people under age 75 that could have been prevented by more effective public health measures, lifestyle changes or medical care. While the number of preventable deaths has declined in people aged 65 to 74 years, it has remained unchanged in people under age 65. Men are more than twice as likely as women to die from preventable heart disease and stroke, and across all races and ethnic groups, black men are most at risk.

To learn more about heart disease and stroke prevention, visit CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. More information on Vital Signs, a report that provides the latest data and information on key health indicators, is available at www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/HeartDisease-Stroke.

 

Vital Signs: Getting Blood Pressure Under Control

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults (67 million) has high blood pressure, and more than half (36 million) don't have it under control, according to a new Vital Signs report from CDC.

The majority of people with high blood pressure (also called hypertension) are being treated with medicine, and have seen a doctor at least twice in the past year, yet their condition is still not under control.

CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., calls high blood pressure the nation's second public health enemy, behind tobacco use. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States, leading to nearly 1,000 deaths a day.

Controlling high blood pressure is a key component of the Million Hearts® initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 through clinical and community interventions. By enlisting partners from across the health sector—pharmacists, nurses, dietitians, and community health workers—Million Hearts® focuses on improving patient support and follow-up care, managing medicines, and helping patients stick to a blood pressure control plan.

To learn more about blood pressure, visit CDC's Blood Pressure website. To read the full Vital Signs report, titled "Awareness and Treatment of Uncontrolled Hypertension Among Adults—United States, 2003–2010" visit CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6135a3.htm?s_cid=mm6135a3_w.

More information on Vital Signs, a report that provides the latest data and information on key health indicators, is available at http://www.cdc.gov/VitalSigns/AboutVitalSigns.html.