Washington, D.C. Sept. 3, 2013 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new Vital Signs report, “Avoidable Deaths from Heart Disease, Stroke and Hypertensive Disease – United States 2001-2010”:
“This new CDC report sends a very clear message to our nation: Prevention is the key to conquering cardiovascular diseases and stroke. It’s a point we hope all Americans will hear and pay attention to – especially young people.
Despite the progress we have made in reducing tobacco use and lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure rates, our projections indicate that the heart health of Americans will only improve
6 percent in the next decade if we don’t start making some changes now. We must address the growing rates of obesity, especially among children, improve our diets, and increase our physical activity because the current rate of cardiovascular disease is escalating.
By 2030, our projections indicate that almost 44 percent, or 122 million, Americans will have some form of cardiovascular disease. The combined direct and indirect medical costs probably will exceed $1.1 trillion. Annual costs for people age 65 to 79 alone will jump a whopping 144 percent – from $215 billion in 2013 to $524 billion in 2030.
As this report dramatically reveals, heart disease and stroke can strike at any time. But it’s never too late or too early to make prevention a top priority. Even making small changes such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator, or opting for fruit instead of a candy bar, can make a big difference in your health.
In addition, research indicates that people with health insurance are more likely to use preventive services and have better health outcomes. The Affordable Care Act provides help by making preventive services available with no cost-sharing to most Americans, and starting Oct. 1, those who are uninsured will have new coverage options with the opening of Health Insurance Marketplaces in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We hope many Americans will take advantage of these options and get started on their way to a healthier life free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”