American Heart Assn. Sees Tidal Wave of Cardiovascular Disease coming from Obesity Epidemic

December 16th, 2011 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

The American Heart Association has published an update on the burden of cardiovascular disease and stroke. They warn that the recent drop in death rates is likely to be reversed by the continuing increases in the rates of diabetes and obesity. Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones told MedPageToday  that rising death rates in cardiovascular death in young adults is particularly troubling, “Because if they’re getting disease at this young of an age then they’re just the leading edge – the canaries in the coal mine, if you will – that suggests that we have a whole tidal wave of cardiovascular disease that is coming as a result of the obesity epidemic.” Medical News: Diabetes, Obesity Overshadow Lower CV Death Rate – in Cardiovascular, Prevention from MedPage Today 

Here are the facts:

The estimated prevalence of overweight and obesity in US adults (>20 years of age) is 149 300 000, which represents 67.3% of this group in 2008. Fully 33.7% of US adults are obese (body mass index >30 kg/m2). Men and women of all race/ethnic groups in the population are affected by the epidemic of overweight and obesity.

● Among children 2 to 19 years of age, 31.9% are overweight and obese (which represents 23 500 000 children), and 16.3% are obese (12 000 000 children). Mexican American boys and girls and African American girls are disproportionately affected. Over the past 3 decades, the prevalence of obesity in children 6 to 11 years of age has increased from <4% to more than 20%.

● Obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2) is associated with marked excess mortality in the US population. Even more notable is the excess morbidity associated with overweight and obesity in terms of risk factor development and incidence of diabetes mellitus, CVD end points (including coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure), and numerous other health conditions, including asthma, cancer, degenerative joint disease, and many others.

● The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing dramatically over time, in parallel with the increases in prevalence of overweight and obesity.

● On the basis of NHANES 2003–2006 data, the age adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of major cardiovascular risk factors related to overweight/obesity and insulin resistance, is 34% (35.1% among men and 32.6% among women).

● The proportion of youth (<18 years of age) who report engaging in no regular physical activity is high, and the proportion increases with age. In 2007, among adolescents in grades 9 through 12, 29.9% of girls and 17.0% of boys reported that they had not engaged in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, defined as any activity that increased heart rate or breathing rate, even once in the previous 7 days, despite recommendations that children engage in such activity >5 days per week.

● Thirty-six percent of adults reported engaging in no vigorous activity (activity that causes heavy sweating and a large increase in breathing or heart rate).

● Data from NHANES indicate that between 1971 and 2004, average total energy consumption among US adults increased by 22% in women (from 1542 to 1886 kcal/d) and by 10% in men (from 2450 to 2693 kcal/d;

● The increases in calories consumed during this time period are attributable primarily to greater average carbohydrate intake, in particular, of starches, refined grains, and sugars. Other specific changes related to increased caloric intake in the United States include larger portion sizes, greater food quantity and calories per meal, and increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, snacks, commercially prepared (especially fast food) meals, and higher energy-density foods.

For the full report, see Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2011 Update1. About 1. About These Statistics2. American Heart Association’s 2020 Impact Goals3. Cardiovascular Diseases4. Subclinical Atherosclerosis5. Coronary Heart Disease, Acute Coronary Syndrome, and Angina Pectoris6.