CDC: D.C. sees highest rate in U.S. of preventable cardiovascular disease deaths

WASHINGTON – Residents in the District of Columbia died at a higher rate from preventable heart attacks and stroke in 2010 than any other state in the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

The CDC released the new data Tuesday, along with its findings on preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke.

Nearly one in three deaths in the U.S. each year is caused by heart disease and stroke, with at least 200,000 of those (or one-fourth) being preventable, the CDC reports.

In D.C., the findings are more startling. The CDC report finds there were 580 preventable deaths in D.C. from heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure in 2010. That translates to a rate of 99.6 preventable deaths per 100,000 population.

D.C. ranked the highest in the country.

The state with the second highest rate of heart disease-related preventable deaths was Mississippi with a rate of 95.0 per 100,000 population, followed by Oklahoma with a rate of 89.8 per 100,000 population.

Virginia experienced a rate of 54.6 preventable deaths per 100,000, and Maryland had a rate of 65.1 preventable deaths per 100,000 population. But, both Maryland and Virginia are among the top four states that saw a greater variance in preventable deaths from county to county, according to the CDC.

The new data shows that non-Hispanic blacks are twice as likely as whites to die from preventable heart disease and stroke, and men are more likely than women to die from preventable heart disease and stroke. These preventable deaths did not just occur in older seniors: more than half of the 200,000 preventable deaths happened to people under the age of 65.

CDC Director Tom Frieden says many fatal heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and stopping smoking.

Increased access to preventative screenings, early intervention care for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and an increase in creating healthy lifestyle environments are all strategies recommended to prevent avoidable deaths from heart disease.

Read the interactive report from the CDC by clicking on the icon below.

CDC Vital Signs™ –  Learn about the latest public health data. Read CDC Vital Signs™…

WTOP’s Rachel Nania contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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