CDC report breaks down heart disease rates by state

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a state-by-state report that finds variations in rates for coronary heart disease, heart attack and angina. According to the findings, some states and territories have double the prevalence of heart disease as other states.

For example, for heart attacks rates ranged from 2.1 percent in the U.S. Virgin Islands to 6.1 percent in West Virginia, while the prevalence of any condition – heart attack, angina or coronary heart disease – ranged from 3.5 percent in the U.S. Virgin Islands to 10.4 percent in West Virginia, CDC said in a release.

Residents of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia had the highest prevalence of these heart diseases. Many of these states have a high proportion of residents with multiple heart disease risk factors and a higher number of heart disease deaths.

The places reporting the lowest level of heart disease prevalence included Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, Minnesota, Utah, Hawaii, Colorado, District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Gender and racial/ethnic differences also play a big role in heart disease prevalence, according to the report. Men had a significantly higher prevalence than women (8.2 percent vs. 5 percent) for coronary heart disease or non-fatal heart attack, and angina. American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest heart disease prevalence (11.2 percent) and Asians had the lowest prevalence (4.7 percent). There was little difference in heart disease prevalence among whites (6.9 percent), blacks (6.2 percent) or Hispanics (6.2 percent), CDC said.

Education also ranked as a big factor. Heart disease rates were nearly double in individuals with fewer than 12 years of education (9.8 percent) compared to college graduates (5 percent), CDC said.

“These findings show the importance of preventing and controlling known risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood cholesterol, tobacco use, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity,” said Jonathan Neyer, the study’s lead author and an epidemiologist in CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP). “We hope this report will help states and U.S. territories better tailor their heart disease prevention efforts.”

The study, Prevalence of Heart Disease – United States, 2005 was published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.