Heart Risk Factors

Thursday, December 10, 2009

After decades of improvement, heart risk factorsincluding hypertension, diabetes and obesity, are on the rise. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a study that looked at the latest figures in todays 60 Second Housecall.

The percentage of Americans without major heart disease risk factors rose during the 1980s and 1990s, but that trend appears to be changing.

Though the percentage of smokers is still decreasing, the number of people with obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure is increasing.

Researchers analyzed data on adults aged 25-74 in four national surveys, examining the prevalence of a low-risk profile for heart disease, which included people who didnt smoke, had low cholesterol and blood pressure, were not overweight and not diabetic.

They found that 4.4 percent of adults had all five of the low-risk factors between 1971 and 1975. That rose to 5.7 percent in the 1976 to 1980 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and rose again to 10.5 percent in 1988 to 1994.

But the trend did not continue and the proportion of adults rating at low risk in 1999 to 2004 fell to 7.5 percent.

People with a low-risk profile are believed to have lower health care costs and are far less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.