A recent study reveals that the progress against heart disease risks may have reduced its effectiveness over the last years, as the rate of deaths caused by these condition remained the same.
The study shows that the death rate decreased 4% for heart disease and 5% for stroke in the 11 years after 2000. The trend went slower from 2011 to 2014, with just a 1% decrease.
“It is likely that the dual epidemics of obesity and diabetes, which began around 1985, are the major contributors to the deceleration in the decline of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and stroke death rates,” said the leading author of the study, Dr. Stephen Sidney.
The researchers say that if the trend continues, the American Heart Association will not reach its goals to reduce heart disease mortality by 20% until 2020.
In comparison, the annual rate decline in cancer deaths remains at a steady 2% in the last 20 years.
The trend identified by the new study showed no differences in gender, race, or ethnicity.
Ten years ago, it was believed that the health disease death rate would be more abrupt than the one in cancer, and heart diseases will no longer be the leading cause of death in the United States. However, this was not the case, and the medical condition continues to be the deadliest health issue in the country.
The factors that led to the general decreasing trend are better medical care, more control over the levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, smoking reduction and diet improvements.
Analysts say that the cardiovascular health community had a great impact on the decline in the disease. They mention the fact that the public may need more information on the ways the medical condition can be prevented and kept under control.
After measuring the effects of the previous prevention measures, medical care experts admit the possibility that they overestimated the impact that such behavior modifications may have on the disease.
However, the recommendations are still beneficial for health, even if they do not have reached their initial purpose to enhance heart disease control.
Another disappointing result of the survey was the fact that physical exercise did not help in the case of older adults that had heart disease risks. The principal consequence of a walking program for people with ages over 70 years old are improvements in mobility and not stroke prevention.
Experts recommend people to start the physical exercises earlier in life in order to reduce heart attack and stroke.
The authors conclude that the national policy regarding heart disease control must be changed and must include more serious and drastic measures in preventing overweight and obesity.
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