Experts are now saying that fifty percent of heart disease deaths were and are preventable.
CBS news reports on what your physicians should be telling you on how to avoid heart disease. Despite the fact that some progress has been made in preventing heart attacks many experts are saying more could be done.
New research shows that preventable risk factors continue to account for half of all cardiovascular deaths. Around 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every single year. “It is the number one killer of both men and women in this country. While experts say prevention is key to reducing these numbers, a study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests the message isn't getting across to the public,” according to CBS.
Experts from Emory University looked at information from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) national surveys from 2009 to 2010 to average the extent to which cardiovascular fatalities could be lowered if all states decreased the top five alterable threat factors for heart disease: elevated cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and obesity.
The analysis showed that if all the threat factors were completely eliminated, about fifty percent of the deaths could be prevented.
CBS reports, “To offer a more feasible goal, the authors also determined about how many heart disease deaths could be prevented if all states were to achieve the levels found in the five best-performing states for each risk factor within age and gender groups.”
The study’s lead author, Dr. Patel, explained the study to CBS. She said that states such as Utah, Colorado, and Vermont were consistently among the top performing states across many age groups for men and women.
She also said that almost 7 percent of cardiovascular related deaths in men between the ages of 45 to 54 could be prevented if all states decreased their current smoking rates for that population to average smoking levels in the best performing states for that risk.
“About 8 percent of cardiovascular deaths in women aged 55 to 64 could be prevented if hypertension rates were reduced to levels in the best performing states for that risk factor,” according to Dr. Patel.
She also emphasized the fact that these potential reductions imply that all states could benefit from more aggressive policies and programs to help decrease risk factors for cardiovascular disease. One of the lasting messages that the experts are trying to put out there is that the complete preventable fraction of mortality is much greater than what we could decrease through just getting a few best targets, meaning that all states have a lot to gain from this.
Dr. David Frid, who specializes in preventive cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and was not involved with the study, commented on the study. He said, “This data reinforces the benefits of prevention and risk factor modification while saying that even with all the tools we have available we still are doing an inadequate job. We've done a good job with affecting cardiovascular events and death, but primarily we've done it in the acute situation.” He also said he thinks when it comes to prevention we have probably not been as good of a result as we should.