Even though the rate of deaths related to heart diseases in the U.S. had been declining for a few years, a new study has found the progress has reached a plateau.
Dr. Stephen Sidney, the Director of research clinics at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, in Oakland, and the senior author of the study, said the findings suggest a setback to America’s battle against heart diseases.
“It is likely that the dual epidemics of obesity and diabetes, which began around 1985, are the major contributors to the deceleration in the decline of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and stroke death rates,” he added, commenting the results of the study.
Back in 2010, the American Heart Association set some public health goals to reduce stroke and cardiovascular mortality by 20 percent until 2020, but if the current trends continue, there is no way the U.S. can complete those goals.
According to the study’s findings, the annual death rate related to heart disease was reduced by roughly 4 percent and almost 5 percent for stroke between 2000 and 2011.
However, the same death dropped less than 1 percent from 2011 to 2014 – virtually maintaining the heart disease death rate due almost stagnant with very little progress.
During the study, the researchers also found that during the second period that was investigated, the rate of decline in cancer deaths remained at approximately 2 percent per year.
This stagnation in the decline of death rate was observed in both men and women, as well as across the vast majority of the racial and ethnic groups currently in the United States.
Before the year 2011, Dr. Sidney and other health experts anticipated that the rate of decline in death rate caused by heart diseases would drop even lower than the death rate due to cancer. However, their expectation was not met, seeing that the rate has remained stagnant instead of declining.
The fact that the heart mortality has stopped declining has caused stroke and other heart diseases to keep at the top of the list as the leading cause of death in the United States.
The paper was featured on 29 June in the online version of the journal JAMA Cardiology.
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