Skip to Content
News Releases

Department of Health Releases New Report on Heart Disease and Stroke

Nine Out of 10 Tennessee Adults Report at Least One Risk Factor for Heart Disease

Nashville, December 14, 2006

Tennessee Department of Health has released “The Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke in Tennessee,” a document that details the picture of the impact of heart disease and stroke on the physical and financial health of Tennesseans. The report also recommends steps to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke in Tennessee.

"The findings of this report are sobering for all Tennesseans," said Governor Phil Bredesen. "Sensible health decisions will allow us all to live healthier, more productive lives and protect us from the growing threat of diabetes and obesity in Tennessee."

The Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke in Tennessee highlights:

 “Poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles are two factors that contribute significantly to the burden of heart disease in Tennessee,” said Health Commissioner Kenneth S. Robinson, M.D. “Everyone can improve his or her health status by eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and by exercising for 30 minutes most days of the week.”

This is the first report by the Tennessee Department of Health solely dedicated to identifying disparities within heart disease and stroke rates across the state and provides guidance in reducing the health burden from heart disease and stroke.  The figures outlined in this report will also help support activities related to Governor Bredesen’s newly initiated Cover Tennessee programs by addressing risk factors leading to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

As with other conditions, significant health disparities exist for African-Americans with heart disease. Blacks, especially black males, were more likely to die from diseases of the heart than whites. African-Americans also have a high prevalence of obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, blood pressure and poor diet, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death and disability in Tennessee. Together they account for one out of every three deaths in the state. In 2002, Tennessee ranked as the sixth highest in the nation in death due to diseases of the heart and the third highest in mortality for stroke. An alarming nine out of 10 adults in Tennessee reported at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease in 2002, and nearly two-thirds reported two or more risk factors. Inpatient and outpatient hospital costs stroke and hypertension totaled $3 billion in 2002.

To view the complete report, visit http://www2.state.tn.us/health/Downloads/HrtDisStrokeBk.pdf.