The heart health of younger Americans may be declining, even after years of medical progress.
Heart disease is, and has for years been, the leading cause of death among American men and women. But for decades, medical and therapeutic advances were enough to drive down cardiovascular death rates. More recently, however, that progress has stalled and the trend has begun to reverse, with certain populations seeing rising rates of some heart issues.
In a new research letter published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which was based on national death certificate data, researchers charted an increase in heart-failure-related cardiovascular death rates among younger adults (those ages 35 to 64) over the last decade. The most dramatic increases were among black Americans, the researchers found.
Those increases may be at least partially due to the epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, says co-author Dr. Sadiya Khan, an assistant professor of cardiology and preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “The growing prevalence of obesity and diabetes is now outweighing the progress we’ve made,” in terms of medications, treatments and surgical procedures.