Do You Live in a State Stricken by Heart Disease?

On the heels of the latest Men's Health list of America's fittest and fattest cities, the CDC has released new and sobering state-specific data for the first time on the prevalence of heart disease.

West Virginia led the nation in a pair of dubious categories: Heart attack prevalence (6 percent) and highest prevalence of heart disease and heart attack (10 percent). The other interesting and disturbing common denominator among the bottom 10 states with the highest heart disease numbers: All but Missouri and West Virginia are located in the South, with Texas, Arizona, Tennessee and Florida being the biggest. Among the states with lowest rates of heart disease: Wisconsin, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Two more chilling statistics to chew on:

  1. Heart disease may cost America's economy more than $150 billion this year alone.
  2. The CDC report of more than 350,000 American adults found more than 6 percent of the patients surveyed had told a health provider they had suffered a heart attack or had dealt with coronary heart disease or angina.

Rather than throw money at drugs or needless procedures to solve this problem -- more dollars doesn't necessarily mean better health -- there's plenty of things you can do, tied to lifestyle changes, to treat and prevent heart disease, safely, effectively and inexpensively.

CDC February 15, 2007

USA Today February 15, 2007

Associated Content February 20, 2007