"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Study explores global burden of disease and heart disease within the United States.

If you want numbers and statistics, especially about health, two reports released this week will keep you busy for days: Massive Global Study of Disease I used to be published. The Lancetand the American Heart Association released its annual “Heart and Stroke Statistics” Both reports have excellent news, bad news and smart news.

Here are some highlights from the 200+ pages. The Lancet Dedicated to results:

Expectation of life. In 1970, a newborn boy could expect to live to be 56 years old. Today it's 67 years. The average age of women has increased from 61 in 1970 to 73 today. These averages mask great variation, from low in Haiti (32 years for boys and 44 for women) to high in Japan (79 years for boys and 86 for women).

Changing causes of death. Infectious diseases equivalent to malaria and tuberculosis have long dominated global deaths. Today, so-called non-communicable causes account for two-thirds of the world's deaths. These include things like traffic accidents, violence and war, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions.

DALY BREAD. Study investigators estimated disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) — a measure of years lost on account of death, disability, or in poor health health. More than half the years lost are actually on account of non-communicative causes.

According to American Heart Association Annual ReportSince 1999, death rates from heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases have fallen by nearly a 3rd. This is a brilliant spot. Despite this, heart disease continues to be the primary killer in America, accounting for one in three deaths. Every day, greater than 2,000 Americans die from heart disease.

Here's the troubling news: If we as a population proceed our unhealthy habits and behaviors, watch heart disease rates stop falling and begin climbing. why like this?

  • About 78 million adults have hypertension—which the Global Burden of Disease Study has identified as the most important global risk factor for the disease.
  • 32 million adults have high cholesterol, one other predictor of heart disease.
  • Diabetes is on the rise (20 million Americans are diagnosed), and this chronic disease often results in heart disease (and kidney disease, vision loss, amputations, and more).
  • As a nation we're obese and underactive.

High blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, and being obese are essentially the most preventable problems – the cardiovascular system can also be largely preventable. “Americans need to move more, eat healthier and less, and manage risk factors as they age,” said Alan S. Gow, MD, chairman of the report's writing committee, in an announcement. ” “If not, we'll quickly lose the momentum we've gained over the past few many years in reducing heart attack and stroke rates and improving survival.”