- Middle-aged Americans are more likely to die of heart disease now than they were in 2011, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Obesity and diabetes are now the main causes of high blood pressure that lead to heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
- Cardiologist Sadiya Khan told the Wall Street Journal: “I think obesity is the new smoking in terms of contribution to heart disease.”
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Death rates for heart disease had been decreasing by more than 70% over 60 years until 2011, Betsy McKay writes in the Wall Street Journal. It was even on track to drop down to become the second leading cause of death in the US behind cancer by 2020.
Since 2011, the death rates have only decreased by 4%. For adults between the ages of 45 and 64, death rates have actually increased 1.5%. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, responsible for about one in four deaths every year.
Anti-smoking campaigns have been successful in helping many Americans quit the habit, but obesity and diabetes have now become the main causes of high blood pressure that lead to heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
“I think obesity is the new smoking in terms of contribution to heart disease,” Sadiya Khan, cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve made such great progress in coming up with smoking-cessation programs. For physical activity, healthy diet and weight loss we haven’t found the right approach.”
- Read more:
- 11 science-backed ways to lower your cholesterol right now
- Nearly half of all Americans have high blood pressure – here are 6 things you can do to reduce your risk
- 12 science-backed reasons you should spend more time outside
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