You need to take better care of your heart. No, we’re not judging, it’s just a statistical reality. A new study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that rates of cardiovascular disease in the United States over the next four decades are poised to climb like your blood pressure after a triple cheeseburger.
The new projections are based on 2020 US Census Bureau data combined with heart disease and risk factor data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Among the general population in the United States, cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity are expected to increase significantly between 2025 and 2060.
About 55 million more Americans are expected to have diabetes and 126 million more Americans are expected to have diabetes by 2060. The researchers also predict that stroke and heart failure rates will increase by more than 33% each, which which will affect 28 million Americans in total. .
Worse, this increase is expected to disproportionately impact all minority groups, with black and Hispanic populations bearing the brunt of these increases in cardiovascular risk, while rates decline overall for whites. For example, the study found that the number of black adults with diabetes will increase from 13% currently 20% by 2060; and nearly 60% will suffer from hypertension, a jump of 55 percent now.
This is especially damning considering that advances in medicine should prevent such increases. But according to the study’s authors, the problem is systemic: minority groups are often overlooked and neglected when it comes to health policy. Factors such as food deserts, lack of medical access, and income inequality in black and brown communities all contribute to a growing public health disparity. This is further supported by previous research which found that chronic lack of access to healthy food leads to higher rates of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The researchers say the findings highlight clear disparities in the US healthcare system and are a call to action to correct them.
“Our analysis predicts that the prevalence of risk factors and cardiovascular disease will continue to increase with disturbing trends,” said James L. Januzzi Jr., cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-author of the study. said in a press release. “These stark projections will disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. Understanding these findings will hopefully inform future public health policy efforts and enable us to implement preventive measures.” and fair treatment.”
Addressing this disparity will require more equitable health education and treatment for at-risk populations. Januzzi Jr. and his colleagues argue that health policies and regulations will need to be leveraged to focus in particular on the impact of cardiovascular disease on minority communities.
So, although disastrous, it is important to remember that the study is a look at what strength happen if we do not act. If our history with combat climate change and environmental issues is an indication, however, we unfortunately will not hold our breath.