Blog | Friday, September 6, 2013

QD: News Every Day--1 in 4 cardiac deaths were preventable

Nearly one fourth of all cardiovascular disease deaths are avoidable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

There were an estimated 200,000 avoidable deaths—those attributed to lack of preventive health care or timely and effective medical care—for heart disease, stroke and hypertensive disease in 2010, the agency reported Sept. 3 in MMWR.

Researchers applied mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System from 2001 to 2010 to learn that avoidable deaths were higher among men (83.7 per 100,000) than women (39.6) and among blacks (107.3) compared with other races/ethnicities. Compared to whites, rate ratios were significantly higher for blacks (1.9) and for American Indians/Alaska Natives (1.2), and were significantly lower for Hispanics (0.8) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (0.6).

The highest avoidable death rates were concentrated in the southern Appalachian region and Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The lowest rates were in the West, Midwest and Northeast.

From 2001 to 2010, the avoidable death rate from heart disease, stroke, and hypertensive disease decreased 29%. The average annual percentage change shows that rates decreased sharply for those ages 65-74 (-5.1%), declined more gradually in those 55-64 (-3.3%), declined minimally in those 35-54 (-0.8%), and did not change in the youngest age group.

Researchers noted that the variations in age-specific rates of decline could be attributed to differences in the percentage of adults without health insurance by age group, or age-specific differences in risk factor management.

Researchers wrote that the report highlights ages and regions that should be targeted by public health efforts. For example, the Million Hearts initiative is promoting community and clinical prevention strategies such as the ABCS of heart health (aspirin when appropriate, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation); health information technology; team-based care; and community prevention strategies such as reducing tobacco use, sodium and trans fats.