Americans knocking down the rate of heart disease

Americans knocking down the rate of heart disease

Although the instances of heart attack and stroke are still high in the U.S., new data showed that the preventative measures many American take are paying off. The number of hospitalizations and death from these heart problems have declined over the past 10 years.

Lower rates of heart problems
Researchers at the Yale-New Haven Hospital analyzed the Medicare records of approximately 34 million Americans who were treated between 1999 and 2011. The results, published in the journal Circulation, showed that the hospitalization rates for heart attack have decreased by 38 percent and the rates for stroke by 33 percent. The chance of death from heart disease was reduced by 23 percent and from stroke by 13 percent.

The researchers noted that these significant declines were likely due to preventative measures on the part of Americans, as there were no notable advancements in treatment.

"Huge strides in lifestyle, quality of care and prevention strategies for cardiovascular health have seemed to have a ripple effect on saving lives," said Harlan Krumholz, M.D., the lead researcher. "As a result, our country has undergone remarkable changes, which has reduced suffering and costs."

Keep up your healthy lifestyle
Healthcare agencies and physicians have been adamant in promoting a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of heart disease. The three most common recommendations are to eliminate tobacco products from your daily life, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.

The Mayo Clinic suggested that adults aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days. Physical activity helps control weight and conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

A heart-healthy diet is also instrumental in preventing heart attack and stroke. Mayo Clinic recommended that adults focus on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can't get too much of a good thing – experts suggest that adults consume five to 10 servings of produce every day. 

Saturated fats from red meats and dairy products should be avoided and replaced with healthy polyunsaturated fats like the omega-3s found in fish and beans. These good fats have been shown to help lower levels of bad cholesterol, so a fat-free diet isn't the way to go. If you're not getting enough unsaturated fats in your diet, add a fish oil supplement to your daily routine. Products like Omax3 deliver optimal doses of important omega-3 fatty acids.

Essential takeaways

  • The number of hospitalizations and deaths from cardiovascular problems have declined over the past decade. 
  • Scientists attribute this trend to the health lifestyle changes many Americans have made, including quitting smoking, exercising daily and making better food choices.