Thousands of Heart Disease Deaths Preventable, Says CDC


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With obesity and its accompanying medical issues now declared an epidemic in the U.S., researchers have been scrambling to stem the tide and help save lives. Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided data showing that even now, hundreds of thousands of deaths related to metabolic syndrome can be prevented.

The CDC's new report shows that more than 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke in 2010 were preventable, out of the 800,000 total deaths related to those causes. The agency suggests those lives, over half of which were under the age of 65, could have been prevented through public health measures, better medical care, or simply lifestyle changes. Risk factors for heart disease deaths include high blood pressure and smoking.

“Despite progress against heart disease and stroke, hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from these preventable causes of death,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Many of the heart attacks and strokes that will kill people in the coming year could be prevented by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and stopping smoking.”

In addition to urging Americans to cut their risk factors for hearth disease, the CDC is recommending that health care providers urge their patients during every medical visit to adopt good habits such as eating healthy, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking. The agency suggests that health care providers can use electronic health records to closely follow patients managing their blood pressure and cholesterol.

The CDC also recommends that health departments promote "healthier living spaces" in their communities through smoke-free initiatives, safe walking paths, and greater access to healthy foods.

(Image courtesy Thinkstock)