Progress Against Cardiovascular Disease
We often hear negative health statistics, so here’s some good news: since 1980, the number of deaths due to cardiovascular disease has gone down by half.
Although it’s still the leading cause of death in the U.S., the medical community has clearly made tremendous strides. See for yourself:
Of course, there’s a catch.
FiveThirtyEight recently put together a series of visuals that shows an unfortunate trend. In many areas of the country, the fight against cardiovascular disease isn’t going so well.
If you live in Alabama or Mississippi, for example, rheumatic heart disease is far more prevalent than other areas of the country. Atrial fibrillation is more of a problem in the Northwest.
Researchers don’t fully understand what’s causing these regional differences, but income and access to care are likely important factors.
One cardiologist suggests that we may need to address the problem locally, at the community level. I think he’s onto something.
As we know from working with clients all over the country, an approach that works wonders in Texas may fall flat in Maine. Just as we have to adjust our wellness programming constantly for different populations, public health officials may know the best ways to reach their citizens.