FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday,Sept. 10, 2013
Prevention Services Division
Colorado has third-lowest death rate for preventable heart disease
DENVER – Colorado had the third-lowest death rate in the nation for preventable heart disease, stroke and hypertensive disease, according to a recently released report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Six of the 10 counties with the lowest preventable death rates nationwide in 2008-10 were in Colorado.
In 2010, there were 2,041 preventable deaths from heart disease, stroke and hypertensive disease in Colorado – an age-adjusted rate of 39.9 per 100,000 people. This represents a 3.9 percent decrease per year since 2001, when the age-adjusted preventable death rate was 57.0.
Joni Reynolds, director of public health programs at the department, said, “Coloradans continue to be among the healthiest people in the nation. Yet, there is more that can be done. Community and public health leaders can help prevent more deaths from heart disease and stroke by promoting a healthy environment, free from tobacco smoke, with safe places to walk and easy access to healthy foods that are low in sodium.”
Reynolds said, “Health care providers can help by screening their patients for hypertension and high cholesterol and encouraging patients to quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight and take medications as directed to manage their health conditions.”
More than 200,000 preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke occurred in the United States in 2010, a decrease of 30 percent between 2001 and 2010. More than half of those who died were younger than 65. Lack of access to preventive screenings and early treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol could explain the differences among age groups, according to the CDC.
- Age:Death rates in 2010 were highest among adults aged 65-74 years, though that age group saw the fastest decline in preventable deaths.
- Race/ethnicity: Nationally, blacks are twice as likely and Hispanics were slightly less likely than whites to die from preventable heart disease and stroke. In Colorado, the rate for Hispanics was higher than it was for whites, with 50.5 deaths per 100,000 for Hispanics compared to 40 per 100,000 for whites.
- Gender:Preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke were higher among males than females. Black men had the highest risk. Hispanic men were twice as likely as Hispanic women to die from preventable heart disease and stroke.
- Location:By state, preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke ranged from a rate of 36.3 deaths per 100,000 people in Minnesota to 99.6 deaths per 100,000 in the District of Columbia.
The age-adjusted preventable death rate from heart disease, stroke and hypertensive disease varied across Colorado counties in 2008-10, from a low of 18.1 per 100,000 in Eagle County to a high of 89.7 per 100,000 in Bent County. These rates reflect significant health disparities that could be related to income and education. In Eagle County in 2010, 9.8 percent of residents lived in poverty and 53 percent had less than a college education. In Bent County, where heart disease and stroke are more prevalent, 32.4 percent lived in poverty and 88.7 percent had not completed college.
High blood pressure management is a key strategy of the Million Hearts Initiative, an effort to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over five years. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment urges Coloradans to protect themselves and their families from heart disease through proper medical and self management.