CDC Report: Middle-Aged Americans Dying More of Heart Disease than Cancer

In the United States, middle-age adults are losing ground in the fight against heart disease.

Middle Aged Americans Dying of Heart Disease

According to a new report from the CDC, the heart disease in middle-aged adults has been increasing.

The report from the CDC in Atlanta has found that the death rate from heart disease in middle-aged men and women increased from 2011 to 2017. The rate had declined from 1999 to 2011, but then it surged by 4% from 2011 to 2017.

The upward trend in the death rate due to heart disease in recent years is the cause of concern.

A cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota Dr. Sharonne Hayes told NBC News, “Middle-age adults are losing ground.” She was not involved with the new CDC report.

Dr. Hayes said, “We’ve got to stop patting ourselves on the back about the decreasing rates of heart disease deaths. We’ve taken our feet off the gas pedal.”

She noted there are multiple factors responsible for this recent upward trend. The risk factors for heart disease are going up, which include obesity, diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Another factor is middle-aged adults are less likely to have health insurance. Usually, people 65 and above have access to Medicare, while people between the ages 20 and 44 rely on their parents’ health insurance or get it through work.

The report by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics stated, “Both the younger and older age groups saw declines in heart disease deaths through 2017.”

It was published Wednesday in National Vital Statistics Reports.

Chief science and medical officer at the American Heart Association Dr. Mariell Jessup said, “The upside to these findings is that 90% of cardiovascular disease is preventable.”

Dr. Jessup said that preventing heart disease deaths is simple. She recommended exercising more, avoiding smoking, keeping your blood pressure under control, and maintaining an ideal weight.

The same CDC report mentioned that death rates from cancer continue to decline. From 1999 to 2017, the cancer death rate in adults aged 45-64 declined by 19%. The decline in the cancer death rate was greater between from 1999 to 2007 and from 2014 to 2017; however, it increased a bit in from 2007 to 2014. The CDC noted that heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in people between ages 45 and 64, which are responsible for half of all deaths in that age group.