Know Your Risks for Heart Disease

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans suffer more than 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes every year.

Every day, 2,200 people die from cardiovascular disease – that’s nearly 800,000 Americans each year, or 1 in every 3 deaths.

Together, heart disease and stroke are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing the nation today, accounting for more than $312.6 billion in health care expenditures and lost productivity annually – and these costs are rising. On a personal level, families who experience heart disease or stroke not only have to deal with medical bills but also lost wages and the real potential of a decreased standard of living.

We’re all at risk for heart disease and stroke. People of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities are affected. However, certain groups – including African Americans and older individuals – are at higher risk than others.

Nearly half of all African American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease that includes heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the United States. About 2 out of every 5 African American adults have high blood pressure, and less than half have it under control. African American adults are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), and heart attack and stroke deaths than white adults. Individuals living below the federal poverty level are more likely to have high blood pressure compared with those living at the highest level of income.

Know what you can do and take some steps to prevent heart disease.