Longer, Healthier Lives: No More?
Since the 1960s, people in the U.S. have been living longer and healthier, largely to a decrease in heart disease. But in recent years, these improvements have declined substantially, causing scientists to wonder if the trend of longer/healthier lives is over.
A study called Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities has been evaluating cardiovascular health in about 16,000 people in four counties in Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, and North Carolina since the late 1980s. The goal of the study is to get information about what’s behind national trends in heart disease and stroke at a personal level.
According to researchers, about half of the decline in cardiovascular disease is related to risk management and half due to improvements in medical care. The problem is the obesity epidemic. Since about 1985, rates of obesity have skyrocketed in the U.S., increasing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes risk.
Image Credit: Thinkstock