The American Heart Association (AHA) 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update (heart.org) projects that the number of people diagnosed with heart failure will increase dramatically by the year 2030. Heart failure occurs when the heart is too weak to pump blood throughout the body, according to experts.

The new study reports that this increase is due in part to medical advances, since more people survive heart attacks, and therefore face a higher risk of heart failure in the future. The aging of America also is a big contributing factor to the projected increase in heart failure among the United States population.

“The epidemics of diabetes and obesity in the United States both contributes to the rising number of patients who acquire heart failure –our growing population of the elderly are particularly susceptible,” said Mariell Jessup, M.D., a heart failure expert and former president of the American Heart Association.

The new statistics, which were published in the American Heart Association journal, “Circulation,” show that the number of people living with heart failure increased from about 5.7 million in 2009 to 2011, to about 6.5 million from the years 2011 to 2014.

The data was collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted every few years for the American Heart Association. The statistical update show that cardiovascular diseases including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and stroke collectively remain the leading cause of death in the United States and around the world.  The statistical update reported some key findings for 2014.

  • Cardiovascular diseases were the leading cause of death in the world, with about 17.3 million related deaths.
  • One in three adults (92.1 million) in the United States have cardiovascular disease, resulting in 807,775 deaths.
  • Of the 790,000 people in the United States who have heart attacks each year, 114,000 will not live.
  • There were over 350,000 episodes of cardiac arrest outside the hospital setting in the United States, resulting in a 90 percent fatality rate for these individuals.

The authors of the report said that cardiovascular disease is not distributed evenly across the population. “In particular, individuals who live in rural communities, have less education, have lower incomes, and are ethnic or racial minorities have an undue burden of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors,” according to Emelia J. Benjamin, Md., ScM., chair of the AHA Statistics Committee that conducted the study.

Source: “American Heart Association 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update,” AHA journal Circulation

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