Coronary artery disease down everywhere except South
The Centers for Disease Control’s weekly morbidity and mortality report said that fewer people are reporting angina and heart attacks across the country, with the notable exception of the southern United States.
In the last two decades, there has been a strong effort to get people to cut back on indulgences that contribute to heart disease, such as smoking and eating high-fat foods. Hypertension and high cholesterol are better controlled than they have ever been, and even more people are exercising to help stay in shape and keep their hearts healthy.
Despite the efforts, heart disease is still a top killer in the U.S. People are still consistently overweight with the health problems that come along with the extra fat and high cholesterol, one of the most common of which is coronary artery disease and/or heart disease.
Self-reporting of coronary artery disease fell from 6.7 percent in 2006 to 6 percent last year.
"This is the direct result of improved detection and treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as smoking-prevention efforts," University of California Professor of Cardiology Dr. Gregg Fonarow said in USA Today.
According to the CDC, though, heart disease kills more people than cancer, lower respiratory disease and accidents combined. The results confused the authors, who said that with a higher heart disease mortality rate the prevalence of heart disease should be rising, not failing, but this is not the case.
“The decline in prevalence is consistent with the reported decline in the prevalence of a population at high risk (i.e., persons with uncontrolled hypertension, uncontrolled high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and current smokers),” they wrote.
Also according to the CDC, the prevalence of coronary artery disease and heart disease varies by race and ethnicity. While 3.9 percent of Asian and Pacific Islanders report having heart disease, a much higher 11.6 percent of Native Americans and Alaska Natives report heart disease.
Whites report 5.8 percent, blacks report 6.5 percent and Hispanics report 6.1 percent.
Geography has turned out to be the biggest delineation of where heart disease has the most prevalence. The South is still the area where the most people have heart disease of some kind. Most doctors say that makes sense, with higher fatty foods being a regular part of many Southerners’ diets.
There are many ways you can help cut back on the risk for coronary artery disease or heart disease, including exercising regularly, quitting smoking and cutting back on high fatty foods and eating a more lean, protein-packed meal.