“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,” she said.
The update also included the latest figures on what the AHA calls “Life’s Simple 7,” key measures and behaviors that can help people stay healthy and lower their risk for heart disease, stroke and other major problems.
Life’s Simple 7 includes non-smoking, staying physically active, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a normal body weight, and controlling of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
“There is a lot of information and misinformation about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” Benjamin said. “The AHA has tried to simplify awareness of cardiovascular disease by emphasizing AHA’s Life’s Simple 7.”
Here are statistics related to Life’s Simple 7, with the most recent year for which data are available:
- Nearly 17 percent of men, 14 percent of women and nearly 5 percent of children ages 12-17 smoked cigarettes in 2015.
- About 22 percent of adults in 2015 met federal physical activity guidelines.
- Between 1999 and 2012, although AHA healthy diet scores tended to improve in all races and ethnicities, income and education levels, many disparities present in earlier years widened over time, with generally smaller improvements seen in minority groups and those with lower income or education.
- In the U.S., the prevalence of obesity among adults, estimated using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, increased from 1999 to 2000 through 2013 to 2014, from 30.5 percent to 37.7 percent.
- In the U.S., the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents age 2-19 years, estimated using the national data, is 33.4 percent (16.2 percent were overweight and 17.2 percent were obese).
- Nearly 94.6 million, or 40 percent, of American adults had total cholesterol of 200 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
- Nearly 86 million, or 34 percent, of American adults had high blood pressure.
- An estimated 23.4 million, or 9.1 percent, of American adults have diagnosed diabetes. About 7.6 million, or 3.1 percent, of American adults have undiagnosed diabetes; and about 81.6 million, or 33.9 percent, of American adults have prediabetes.