ATLANTA, Oct. 13 (UPI) — The overall rate of U.S. coronary heart disease is declining but the South has a higher rate of heart disease than the rest of the country, officials say.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said from 2006 to 2010, those who reported they have been told by a health professional they have coronary heart disease declined nationwide from 6.7 percent to 6 percent.
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, said despite the decline, heart disease was still the leading cause of death in the United States, killing about the same number of Americans each year as cancer, lower respiratory diseases and accidents combined.
Using data collected from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System — a phone survey conducted each year of adults age 18 and older — CDC officials found the highest rates of self-reported coronary heart disease are among older adults age 65 and older, at 19.8 percent, and American Indians at 11.6 percent.
The report notes where a person lives affects the heart disease rate. Coronary heart disease rates in 2010 were lowest in Hawaii [3.7 percent] and Washington [3.8 percent], and highest in Kentucky [8.2 percent] and West Virginia [8 percent].