Half of U.S. adults have heart disease, report finds

Half of U.S. adults have heart disease, report finds

- in Health
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By Shamard Charles, M.D.

A startling new report finds that almost half of all Americans — 121 million adults — have some form of heart disease, a significant increase over the last three years. While that alarming number, released Thursday by the American Heart Association, is largely due to changes in blood pressure guidelines — it is a warning about our increasingly sedentary lives, heart doctors say.

In 2017, hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease, was redefined by the Heart Association as a blood pressure of 130/80, lowering it from 140/90. That change meant that millions more Americans, 20 to 60 and older, were now considered to have some form of heart disease.

“As one of the most common and dangerous risk factors for heart disease and stroke, this overwhelming presence of high blood pressure can’t be dismissed from the equation in our fight against cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Ivor J. Benjamin, volunteer president of the American Heart Association and director of the Cardiovascular Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, said in a statement.

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