Cardiovascular Disease Death Rates Declining
Jeffrey H. Dover
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one killer in America (even outpacing cancer), and more than 81 million people are currently affected by the condition in this country.
CVD is actually not one disease, but a collection of cardiovascular system-related conditions, including hypertension (high-blood pressure), coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke. High-blood pressure is the most common form of CVD, accounting for more than 90 percent of all incidences.
Though relatively less prevalent when compared to hypertension, coronary heart disease is extremely lethal - accounting for approximately 1 out of every 6 American deaths in 2007.
Though CVD is the underlying cause of death for so many in the U.S., death rates for the disease are actually on the decline. According to the American Heart Association, the death rate for CVD dropped nearly 30 percent from 1996 to 2006. Over that same time frame, the actual number of deaths for CVD dropped as well - by almost 13 percent.
The steady drop in the CVD death rate can be attributed to many factors, such as increased awareness, public education, improved care and prevention.
Despite such great progress, CVD is often deadly. According to data from 2007, approximately 2,200 Americans die from CVD every day - equal to a death every 39 seconds. Of the many risk factors for CVD, age seems to be the most pivotal. Of the 813,804 Americans who died from CVD in 2007, over 150,000 were of age 65 or older. Nearly one-third of all deaths due to CVD occur before the victim's 75th birthday.