Author: Betsy McKay
Younger people, women and nonsmokers are more likely to be victims of the crisis in cardiovascular health, driven by skyrocketing obesity and diabetes.
One of America’s greatest achievements over much of the past century has been a huge decline in death rates from heart disease and strokes. Anti-smoking campaigns, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol, and surgical advances have extended millions of lives, fundamentally reshaping the U.S. population.
Now, progress has stalled. That’s helping drive down life expectancy in the U.S. after decades in which each generation of Americans could expect to live longer than the one that came before.
The death rate for cardiovascular disease—which includes heart disease and strokes—has fallen just 4% since 2011 after dropping more than 70% over six decades, according to mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Particularly alarming is that the death rate is actually rising for middle-aged Americans.
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