Heart disease and stroke deaths hitting middle age adults in large numbers | CDC Online Newsroom


Press Release

Embargoed Until: Thursday, September 6, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Despite being largely preventable, heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and other related conditions caused 2.2 million hospitalizations in 2016, resulting in $32.7 billion in costs and 415,000 deaths, according to the latest CDC’s Vital Signs report.

  • Many of these events were in adults ages 35-64, with over 775,000 hospitalizations and 75,000 deaths occurring within this group in 2016.
    • If every state reduced these life-changing events by six percent, one million cardiac events could be prevented by 2022.
    • This report provides new state-specific data on emergency department visits, hospitalizations and costs, and deaths due to heart disease and stroke. It gives states benchmark information to improve their residents’ health.

Heart disease and stroke deaths hitting middle age adults in large numbers


Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of CDC:

“Adults can seize the day using daily opportunities to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of CDC. “Many of these cardiovascular events are happening to middle-aged adults— who we wouldn’t normally consider to be at risk. Most of these events can be prevented through daily actions to help lower risk and better manage medical conditions.”

Dr. Janet Wright, Executive Director of Million Hearts:

“The solution for this national crisis does not depend on a brilliant new discovery or a breakthrough in science,” said Janet Wright, M.D., a board certified cardiologist and Executive Director of Million Hearts® “The solution already lies deep within every person, community, and health care setting across America. Small changes – the right changes, sustained over time – can produce huge improvements in cardiovascular health.”

  • The staggering number of cardiovascular deaths and hospitalizations arise from opportunities missed every day in finding and treating the common, controllable causes of cardiovascular diseases. This report shows that:
    • 9 million American adults are not yet taking aspirin as recommended.
    • 40 million adults with high blood pressure are not yet under safe control.
    • 39 million adults can benefit from managing their cholesterol.
    • 54 million adults are smokers – most of whom want to quit.
    • 71 million adults are not physically active.
  • In order to improve America’s cardiovascular health everyone must act on these opportunities.
  • This Vital Signs report is based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project databases, the National Vital Statistics System, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and the National Health Interview Survey.
    • The Million Hearts® initiative has a bold but attainable goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2022.
    • The Million Hearts® initiative is a call to action to address this threat to the cardiovascular health of our nation.
    • It leverages powerful partnerships to spread those changes, including over 120 partners, all 50 states and D.C., and 20 federal agencies.
    • The Million Hearts® initiative promotes the use of the known strategies that are available to us today and make the greatest impact on cardiovascular health and care by 2022.
    • It encourages collaborations among healthcare and public health professionals, healthcare systems and communities, states and federal agencies to drive the small changes we know work to reduce cardiovascular events.

How to save a million hearts

Healthcare professionals and healthcare systems can start by:

  • Focusing on the ABCS of heart health: Aspirin use when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation.
  • Taking a team approach — and using technology, customized processes, and the skills of everyone in the health care system to find and fill gaps in care.
  • Making sure people who have had a heart attack or stroke get the care they need to recover well and reduce their risk of another event.
  • Promoting physical activity and healthy eating among their patients and employees.

For more information about this report, go to www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns.

To learn more about heart disease and stroke, visit http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease and http://www.cdc.gov/stroke. To learn more about Million Hearts®, visit https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/external icon.


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