New CDC data shows heart disease and stroke deaths decline slightly

Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO, comments on report

December 22, 2017 Categories: Advisories & Comments

DALLAS, TX December 22, 2017 — American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement today on the recent mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Mortality in the United States, 2016). The report shows heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S., and stroke still ranks fifth. The diseases also are the leading causes of death in the world.

Heart disease deaths per 100,000 people declined from 168.5 to 165.5, while stroke deaths went from 37.6 to 37.3. Other top causes of deaths also declined. However, the report found life expectancy dropped slightly for the second year in a row.

Preliminary mortality statistics for 2017 show heart disease and stroke deaths continue to decrease.

“Any improvement means lives saved, and so we are encouraged to see these numbers,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “Yet, at the same time, this report shows we have much more work to do to save people from these devastating diseases.”

The decline is much less dramatic than the trend over several decades, when heart disease and stroke death rates both dropped more dramatically.

The increase in death rates among younger Americans may be explained in part by the earlier onset of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and other conditions.

For more information, please read the American Heart Association News story “Heart disease and stroke deaths decline slightly, new statistics find” at news.heart.org.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Name here: Suzanne.Grant@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org