JAN 31, 2024 9:00 AM PST

Heart Disease Is Leading Cause of Death in US, but Most Aren't Aware

WRITTEN BY: Savannah Logan

Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the U.S. for over 100 years. However, a new poll conducted on behalf of the American Heart Association (AHA) and published in the journal Circulation showed that more than half of the adults surveyed were not aware that heart disease is our number one killer. The publication further outlined heart disease and stroke statistics collected through 2023.

In the poll, 49% of respondents correctly listed heart disease as the number one cause of death in the U.S., while 18% listed cancer and 16% stated that they did not know the leading cause. The president of the AHA stated that this result is discouraging and even slightly frightening. Heart disease is quite common in the U.S., and a lack of awareness about the dangers of heart disease could lead to many preventable deaths.

Updated statistics for 2024 indicated that 48.6% of the adult U.S. population has some form of heart disease, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure. Furthermore, 46.7% of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, which is the number one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure can be managed successfully using medications and lifestyle changes, but around 38% of adults in the U.S. with high blood pressure do not realize that they have it. This lack of awareness, as well as the lack of awareness surrounding the dangers of heart disease, may lead to many unnecessary deaths. Both heart disease and high blood pressure can be prevented or successfully managed with proper strategies, but these strategies will only be implemented if there is sufficient awareness of the dangers and prevalence of the two diseases.

Sources: Circulation, Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Savannah (she/her) is a scientific writer specializing in cardiology at Labroots. Her background is in medical writing with significant experience in obesity, oncology, and infectious diseases. She has conducted research in microbial biophysics, optics, and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
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