New Report: Heart Health

By Marcia Clemmitt, September 12, 2008

Is America ready for the coming cardiac crisis?

“Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert’s fatal heart attack in June tragically reminded middle-aged Americans that cardiovascular disease is the nation’s leading cause of death. One in every six heart attacks has sudden death as its first, last and only symptom. Overall, about 40 percent of both women and men die of a heart-related ailment. On the plus side, U.S. cardiovascular-disease deaths have dropped dramatically in recent years. But public health officials warn that the downward trend is about to reverse itself as two large waves of cardiovascular disease wash over the U.S. health-care system in the next several decades – one caused by the aging of the nation’s 76 million baby boomers and the other by Americans’ sedentary lifestyles and poor diet. “The lid is going to blow off vascular diseases, and it could bankrupt society,” according to one cardiovascular expert.

* Is the burden of cardiovascular disease lessening?
* Can Americans make the lifestyle changes needed to eliminate cardiovascular disease?
* Do we rely too much on high-tech medicine to combat cardiovascular disease?

To read the Overview of this week's report, click here.

To read the entire CQ Researcher Online report, click here. [subscription required]

To buy a PDF of this report, click here.