Heart disease and stroke continue to threaten US health

December 18, 2013

DALLAS, Dec. 18, 2013 -- Heart disease and stroke remain two of the top killers of Americans and pose a significant threat to millions of others, according to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2014, published in its journal Circulation.

The update reflects the most up-to-date statistics on heart disease, stroke, other vascular diseases and their risk factors. It is the only source for current prevalence data on cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke is the No. 4 cause. The association compiles this update with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies.

What follows is information from the new Heart Disease, Stroke and Research Statistics at a Glance - a simple look at commonly referenced facts and figures from our statistical update.

Heart Disease, Stroke and other Cardiovascular DiseasesHeart DiseaseStrokeThe American Heart Association gauges the cardiovascular health of the nation by tracking seven key health factors and behaviors that increase risks for heart disease and stroke. We call these "Life's Simple 7™" and we measure them to track progress toward our 2020 Impact Goal: to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, by the year 2020. Life's Simple 7™ are: not smoking, physical activity, healthy diet, body weight, and control of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. Here are key facts related to these factors:

SmokingPhysical ActivityHealthy DietOverweight/ObesityCholesterolHigh Blood PressureBlood Sugar/Diabetes
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The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

American Heart Association

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