This just in, the Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2019 update from the American Heart Association reveals that:
Among the various statistics in the AHA 2019 update, some indicate progress while others indicate opportunities for improvement.
Tobacco use, a primary cause of preventable death internationally, has steadily declined in the United States in recent decades. Based on recent data:
In cities where laws increased the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 years, the prevalence of smoking among high school students declined to 47%. If ratified nationally, it could prevent 249,000 early deaths, 45,000 deaths caused by lung cancer and 4.2 million lost life-years.
Taxes on sugary beverages have achieved positive results:
In Mexico, SSB purchases declined by 5.5% one year after implementing a 1 peso per liter tax, and by 9.7% after two years.
A comparable 1 cent/ounce excise tax on SSBs in Berkeley, California resulted in a 9.6% decline in SSB sales after only a year.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food packages were revised in 2009 to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lower-fat milk. These updates were correlated with improved diet quality among program participants, according to the Healthy Eating Index. If more changes are created in future years, participants’ diet quality could benefit.
Rates of obesity and severe obesity in youth (2-19 years) didn’t grow drastically from 2007-2008 to 2015-2016, but the pervasiveness remains high at 18.5%.
Among older adolescents (12-19 years), the prevalence of ideal Body Mass Index (<25 kg/m2) dropped 14.3% from 1999-2000 to 2015-2016.
For adults, prevalence of obesity and severe obesity increased considerably over the last 10 years. The 2015-2016 estimates reveal that approximately 40% of adults are obese and 7.7% of those are classified as “severe.”
Obesity is linked to a shorter lifespan and living a lengthier percentage of life with CVD. Higher Body Mass Index is linked to a significantly higher risk of death caused by CVD.
On a positive note, the rate of inactive adults dropped from 40% in 2007 to approximately 30% in 2016.