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Cancer death rates drop, heart disease deaths on the rise for US adults

As the number of American adults dying of cancer continues to decline, the number who are dying of heart disease is on the rise, according to a new report....

Posted: May 22, 2019 11:08 AM

As the number of American adults dying of cancer continues to decline, the number who are dying of heart disease is on the rise, according to a new report.

Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics examined death certificates filed across the country from 1999 to 2017 for adults 45 to 64, documenting the number of deaths attributed to cancer and heart disease.

Cancer deaths dropped 19% from 1999 to 2017 for those adults. Deaths due to heart disease dropped 22% between 1999 and 2011 but then increased a total of 4% by 2017, according to the report, published Wednesday in National Vital Statistics Reports.

Cancer death rates were higher than heart disease death rates during the study period, with both men and women seeing a similar pattern of overall decline in cancer deaths and recent increases for heart disease deaths.

White women saw the greatest rise in the rates of death from heart disease, a 12% increase; Hispanic women saw a general decline. Black women had the highest rates among women, and black men had the largest increase among men.

Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death for middle-aged Americans, accounting for approximately half of all deaths in this age group, according to the CDC.

The past several decades had come with a downward trend in mortality from cardiovascular disease and stroke, but those trends are now being reversed, said Dr. Mariell Jessup, chief science and medical officer at the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the study.

"It has to do with obesity, a lack of a healthy lifestyle and really the increasing incidence and prevalence of hypertension," she said, adding that combating obesity and hypertension is a war that the country is losing.

"The good news about cardiovascular disease and stroke is that 90% of cardiovascular disease is preventable." Although it's not always easy to keep up, Jessup says the answers to prevention are simple: exercise more, don't smoke, keep your blood pressure under control and maintain an ideal weight.

As for cancer, she explains that some of the same factors known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease -- such as a lack of exercise and obesity -- are known to increase the risk of cancer.

"Our understanding about risk factors and how you can prevent them have really made it possible for people not to be sort of fatalistic but to fight against both of these diseases," Jessup said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 71015

Reported Deaths: 3013
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15322723
Lake7343274
Elkhart471380
Allen3725160
St. Joseph330179
Hamilton2610104
Vanderburgh184213
Hendricks1814106
Cass17669
Johnson1694118
Porter123839
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Tippecanoe114611
Madison89565
LaPorte86930
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Marshall75822
Bartholomew75447
Floyd74045
Monroe70830
Delaware68052
Dubois65812
Boone65346
Noble64529
Hancock63838
Jackson5625
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Grant52029
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Wayne34610
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Jefferson1532
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Ohio574
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 97471

Reported Deaths: 3618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17834521
Cuyahoga13141491
Hamilton9374252
Lucas5155320
Montgomery417487
Summit3433218
Marion291045
Butler282262
Mahoning2477254
Pickaway237842
Stark1766137
Warren171136
Lorain168977
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Trumbull1481105
Fairfield130931
Delaware126319
Licking120247
Clark111514
Lake107338
Wood99358
Clermont89211
Medina88735
Miami81137
Tuscarawas76214
Portage74361
Allen69942
Greene65611
Belmont59226
Richland58911
Mercer57313
Erie55627
Ashtabula55045
Geauga54844
Wayne51958
Ross4444
Huron3885
Ottawa36825
Sandusky36316
Darke36027
Athens3531
Hancock3533
Madison34910
Holmes3266
Lawrence2420
Auglaize2395
Union2331
Jefferson2192
Muskingum2151
Scioto2111
Putnam19917
Washington19822
Knox1917
Seneca1903
Coshocton1886
Shelby1774
Preble1762
Crawford1715
Morrow1652
Hardin15912
Clinton1586
Champaign1571
Highland1461
Fulton1441
Logan1402
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Defiance1334
Williams1303
Brown1232
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Henry1132
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