With Valentine’s Day approaching,
many of us have our hearts on our minds. We’re probably not thinking of
them in the literal sense, but with February being American Heart Month,
now is a great time to learn about heart disease and the risk it poses
to all Marylanders.
Heart disease is consistently the
leading cause of death in both the United States and Maryland. Although
the mortality rate was 28 percent lower in 2011 (the latest year for
which State data is available) than it was a decade earlier, heart
disease continues to be a concern we should all take seriously, and take
proactive steps to avoid. This month, we’ll discuss risk factors for
heart disease, prevention strategies and other related topics here on
But we wanted to start with some facts about heart disease that may surprise you.
For instance, did you know that
along with stroke, cardiovascular disease kills about 2,200 individuals
every day across the U.S.? (Source: CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/
In 2011, it killed over 10,500 Marylanders of all ages and races.
That’s about 29 heart disease deaths per day. For individuals 65 and
older, heart disease was the leading cause of death for both men and
women, white or black. Those most likely to die from a disease of the
heart were white males ages 65 and above.
Those under 65 may be thinking
they don’t have to worry about heart disease, but that’s not the case.
In fact, heart disease consistently ranks in the leading causes of death
among individuals ages 15 – 44. After age 24, deaths due to heart
disease begin to increase among all demographic groups.
Finally, heart disease fatalities
tend to differ by jurisdiction in Maryland. In Allegany, Prince
George’s, Wicomico and Somerset counties and Baltimore City, the rates
of heart disease deaths were significantly higher than the Maryland
average. In Frederick, Montgomery, Howard, Queen Anne’s and Talbot
counties, the rates were significantly lower.
For more facts and statistics about heart disease and other health topics, please visit the Reports section
the Maryland Vital Statistics Administration’s website. For more
information about heart disease and stroke, and to learn about Heart
Month events around Maryland, click here.