The American Heart Association has released the latest statistics on heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular risk factors in the United States. Read on to learn about the key findings from the 2023 update and what they mean for your health.
- High prevalence of hypertension in the US, affecting 46.7% of adults aged 20 or older (around 122.4 million adults).
- No association found between antihypertensive medications and increased cancer risk, easing concerns for those on medication.
- Salt substitutes (75% sodium chloride, 25% potassium chloride) may lower the incidence of stroke and improve cardiovascular health.
- Staying informed and taking steps to maintain cardiovascular health can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Heart disease and stroke are major health problems in the United States, affecting millions of people each year.
To help combat these issues, the American Heart Association (AHA) works in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to release annual statistics on cardiovascular health.
The 2023 update is the most recent report and includes data on a range of heart and circulatory conditions, as well as core health behaviors and factors that contribute to cardiovascular health.
Prevalence Of High Blood Pressure
One of the key findings from the report is the high prevalence of high blood pressure (hypertension) in the United States.
According to the most recent definition from 2017, an estimated 46.7% of US adults aged 20 or older have hypertension.
This equates to around 122.4 million adults in the country.
Interestingly, there is a gender difference in hypertension prevalence.
More males than females have hypertension up to the age of 64, but for those aged 65 and older, the percentage of females with hypertension is higher than for males.
Effects Of Antihypertensive Medications On Cancer Risk
Many people with hypertension take antihypertensive medications to manage their condition.
Some have been concerned that these medications may increase the risk of cancer.
However, a recent individual patient meta-analysis of 33 trials found no associations between any antihypertensive drug class and the risk of any cancer.
This means that people taking these medications can feel reassured that they are not increasing their cancer risk.
Benefits Of Salt Substitute
Another interesting finding from the report is that using a salt substitute may have benefits for cardiovascular health.
An open-label, cluster-randomized trial involving over 20,000 individuals in rural China found that using a salt substitute (75% sodium chloride and 25% potassium chloride) instead of regular salt (100% sodium chloride) resulted in a lower incidence of stroke, all-cause mortality, and major adverse cardiovascular events.
The 2023 update from the American Heart Association provides important information on the prevalence of heart and circulatory conditions in the United States, as well as core health behaviors and factors that contribute to cardiovascular health.
The report’s findings highlight the high prevalence of hypertension in the country, the lack of association between antihypertensive medications and cancer risk, and the potential benefits of using a salt substitute.
By staying informed about these issues and taking steps to maintain cardiovascular health, individuals can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
“Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2023 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association” – https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001123