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Health Fact Sheets

Cardiovascular Disease (revised August 2010)

Cardiovascular disease, or as it is more commonly referred to as heart disease, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

Tennessee’s Heart Disease Burden

  • Diseases of the Heart are the leading causes of death for all races and sexes.
  • More than 1 out of 4 deaths in Tennessee are due to heart disease (CDC, National Vital Statistics Report, 2009).
  • In 2008, 14,636 (238.2/100,000) people died of heart disease in Tennessee.
  • Heart disease was the leading cause of death for 7,328 (233.1/100,000) women and for 7,307 (243.5/100,000) males (TN Resident Data, 2008).
  • In 2008, 5.8% of adult Tennesseans (18 years and older) reported that they had been diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD) during their lifetime, compared to 4.3% nationally (TN BRFSS, 2008).
  • Among persons with coronary heart disease, 42.4% reported to have a history of heart attacks (TN BRFSS, 2008).
  • Total charges associated with diseases of the heart rose to over $3 billion in 2006 (TN HDDS Inpatient Files, 1997-2006, based on the year 2000 dollar).

Deaths Vary by Ethnicity in Tennessee

In 2008, Blacks had a higher death rate from diseases of the heart compared to Whites (219.4/100,000) in Tennessee (TN Resident Data, 2008).

Race

Number of Deaths

Rate/100,000

Blacks

2,052

199.2

Whites

12,525

250.4

Deaths Vary by Geography in Tennessee

Across Tennessee, deaths due to heart disease were highest in Carrol County, Pickett County, Henry County, Jackson County and McNair County (TN Resident Data, 2008).

Counties

Rate/100,000

Carrol

551.9

Pickett

447.1

Henry

445.7

Jackson

415.1

McNair

397.4

Risk Prevention

For people with heart disease, studies have shown that lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels can reduce the risk of –

  • Dying from heart disease.
  • Having a nonfatal heart attack.
  • Needing heart bypass surgery or angioplasty.

For people without heart disease, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels can reduce the risk for developing heart disease.

Early Action is the Key


In 2005, 90.0% of adult Tennesseans correctly identified chest pain as a symptom of heart attack. A high percentage of people also correctly identified arm/shoulder pain (86.6%) and shortness of breath (86.1%) as symptoms associated with heart attack. However, only 50.8% of people recognized jaw, neck or back pain as a symptom of heart attack (TN BRFSS, 2005).

About 66% of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside the hospital. This suggests that many people with heart disease do not act on early warning signs (TN DSSS, 2006).

 

 

Tennesseans at Risk

Below is the percentage of adult Tennesseans with heart disease risk factors (CDC-BRFSS, 2009).

 

Risk Factor

 

Tennessee

 

Nationwide

Eat fruits and vegetables less than 5 times/day

76.6%

76.5%

Overweight or obese

68.9%

63.2.%

High total blood cholesterol

32.9.%

37.4%

High Blood pressure

32.6%

28.6%

No moderate or vigorous physical activity

30.9%

23.9%

Cigarette smoking

22.2%

17.9%

Diabetes

10.2%

8.4%

About one-third of all inpatients with diseases of the heart had two of these co-morbid conditions, and more than one-tenth had all three of these co-morbid conditions (TN HDDS, Inpatient Files, 2006).