The real causes for the cardiovascular disease epidemic?

CVD Death Rate in US Declines, But One in Three Still Dying From Cardiac Causes

Published in MEDSCAPE Cardiology Dec 12, 2012

The American Heart Association (AHA) has released its most recent update on heart disease and stroke, estimating that the total direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular disease and stroke are more than $310 billion in the US. Although the relative rate of deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease declined from 1999 to 2009, cardiovascular disease still accounts for one in every three US deaths.

Based on 2009 death-rate data, more than 2000 Americans die of cardiovascular disease every day, or approximately one death every 40 seconds. Every 25 seconds, one American will have a coronary event, and every minute one American will die from one. Coronary heart disease accounted for one in six deaths in the US in 2009, while stroke accounted for one in every 19 deaths. Every 40 seconds, somebody in the US has a stroke.

Declining Death Rates, But Risk Factors Still Climbing

The 2009 overall rate of death attributable to cardiovascular disease was 236.1 deaths per 100 000 individuals. The rate of death was 281.4, 387.0, 190.4, and 267.9 per 100 000 white males, black males, white females, and black females, respectively. From 1999 to 2009, the relative rate of death attributable to cardiovascular disease declined by 32.7%, but cardiovascular disease still accounted for one-third of deaths in the US.

Regarding cardiovascular disease risk factors, the AHA estimates that 31.9 million adults have serum total-cholesterol levels > 6.0 mmol/l and 33.0% of US adults have hypertension, or approximately 78 million adults. African American adults have the highest prevalence of hypertension in the world, notes the AHA. In 2010, 19.7 million Americans had physician-diagnosed diabetes mellitus, or 8.3% of the population, while another 38.2% had prediabetes with abnormal fasting-glucose levels (glucose intolerance).

For smoking status, approximately one in five adult Americans continues to smoke, while 18.1% of students in grades 9 through 12 reported current cigarette use.

The percentage of young persons ( <18 years old) who engage in no regular physical activity is high, and this percentage increases with age. In 2011, 17.7% of girls and 10.0% of boys reported not participating in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity even once during the previous seven-day period. One in three adults reported engaging in no aerobic leisure-time physical activity.

More than 150 million adults in the US were considered overweight or obese, or two out every three adults. More than one-third of US adults are obese, while 31.8% of children and adolescents aged two to 19 are overweight or obese, or 23.9 million kids. More than 12 million US children and adolescents are considered obese.

So the real causes for the cardiovascular epidemic are poorly understood and poor managed conventional cardiovascular risk factors.

Why is this, when we have such an enormous depth of knowledege and understanding the pathophysiological of cardiovascular disease and the role the cardiac risks in driving this epidemic?

In my next blog I will attempt to answer this question.


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