Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Heart Disease, Stroke Deaths Down

Still, Too Many Americans at High Risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, Researchers Say

Lifestyle Behaviors Contribute to Cardiovascular Disease Burden

Roger and her team found that, overall, too many Americans live with major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke, such as elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and being overweight and inactive. Among their findings:

  • More than two-thirds of the U.S. adult population is either clinically overweight or obese. This trend in adulthood obesity may not change given that during the past 30 years, obesity increased from 4% to 20% among children aged 6 to 11.
  • More than a third of Americans aged 20 and older have high blood pressure; 80% are aware of their condition, but less than half have their condition under control.
  • Smoking is also a major risk factor; 23.1% of adult men and 18.1% of adult women smoke cigarettes. And 19.5% of high school students say they use tobacco.
  • 15% of adults 20 and older have total serum cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or higher. The recommend level is 200 mg/dL or lower.
  • 8% of the U.S. adult population have diabetes; 36.8% have prediabetes, in which their blood sugar levels are too high, though not high enough to meet the definition of diabetes.
  • Death rates from cardiovascular disease remain significantly higher for black males, at 405.9 per 100,000 compared with 286.1 per 100,000 for black females, 294 per 100,000 for white males, and 205.7 per 100,000 for white females.

Over the next decade, the American Heart Association is focused on reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%.

“Our baseline data related to the 2020 goal in the new update indicate the need for substantial progress in order to meet those goals in the next decade,” Roger says. “To achieve improvements in cardiovascular health, all segments of the population will need to focus on improved cardiovascular health behaviors, particularly with regard to diet and weight, as well as increasing physical activity and further reducing the prevalence of smoking.”

The report, for the first time, includes data about family history and genetics. Having a sibling who has heart disease, or a parent who has experienced a heart attack at an early age, essentially doubles one’s risk of developing heart disease. “The role of genetic factors in the risk of cardiovascular disease will likely be a growing part of the report in the future,” Roger says.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure