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From 2000 to 2011, the age-adjusted heart disease death rate in the United States decreased 3.7 percent per year; however, the decline slowed to 0.7 percent per year during 2011 to 2019, according to a December data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Anthony Sawyer, M.P.H., and Lee Anne Flagg, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, examined changes in heart disease death rates from 2000 through 2019 using data from the National Vital Statistics System.

The researchers found that the U.S. age-adjusted heart disease death rate decreased by an average of 3.7 percent per year during 2000 to 2011 and slowed to a decrease of 0.7 percent per year during 2011 to 2019. There was variation noted in the age-adjusted heart disease death rates, from a low of 116.7 deaths/100,000 in Minnesota to a high of 231.4 in Oklahoma in 2019. In all states, age-adjusted death rates for heart disease declined from 2000 to 2011. In one-half of states and the District of Columbia, age-adjusted death rates for heart disease declined from 2011 to 2019, while there was no change in 24 states and an increase in one state.

“Although heart disease remains the leading cause of death, this report’s findings are consistent with the long-term trend in heart disease death rates,” the authors write. “Heart disease death rates declined rapidly beginning in the mid-1960s, but that decline slowed in the 2010s.”