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    One quarter of heart disease deaths are preventable

    At least one quarter of the 800,000 deaths annually attributed to cardiovascular disease could be prevented if people stopped smoking, reduced salt intake, and adopted other healthy habits, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. However, the CDC report said approximately 200,000 of those deaths could be prevented with lifestyle changes.

    According to the report, men are twice as likely as women to suffer preventable heart disease deaths, and blacks suffer such deaths at twice the rate of whites. And the highest rate of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths is in the South.

    “Despite progress against heart disease and stroke, hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from these preventable causes of death,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden said. “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.”

    CDC analyzed National Vital Statistics System mortality data from 2001 to 2010. Preventable deaths were defined as those resulting from an underlying cause of heart disease, stroke, or hypertension in people 75 or younger.

    The report found that preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease declined 29% during those years and that the highest rate was in the 65 to 74 age group.

    Minnesota had the lowest rate of preventable cardiovascular deaths (36.3 per 100,000 people), while Washington, DC, had the highest (99.6 per 100,000).

    Black men had the highest rate of preventable heart disease or stroke deaths (about 150 per 100,000), about 80% higher than that of white males and black females. 

    The CDC suggests people lower their risks of cardiovascular deaths through intense exercise, diets low in sodium and trans fats, and not smoking.

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.

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