CDC Reports Decline in Coronary Heart Disease; Still Leading Killer of Americans

The number of Americans reporting they have coronary heart disease, including heart attack and angina (chest pain), continues to decline but rates vary widely from state to state and by race and ethnicity.


The CDC report attributes the decline to a combination of reductions in the prevalence of high risk populations for heart disease, such as smokers and patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure or uncontrolled high blood cholesterol, along with improvements in treatments for heart disease.


However, despite that decline, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States killing roughly the same number of Americans each year as cancer, lower respiratory diseases (including pneumonia), and accidents combined.


The highest rates of self–reported coronary heart disease are among older adults aged 65 and over (19.8 percent) and American Indians/Alaskan Natives (11.6 percent). And, there are geographic differences in self–reported coronary heart disease with populations in Southern states reporting the highest levels of heart disease. See the report on state coronary heart disease prevalence and the CDC announcement.