The US is failing when it comes to cardiovascular health: Report

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for the U.S., but the nation continues to lag behind in addressing it — 27 states have even received grades of "D" or "F" for cardiovascular outcomes.

A new report, co-led by the Foundation of the National Lipid Association and the National Medical Association, found that each year "deaths continue to rise even as we know more every day about how to prevent cardiovascular deaths," Ann Liebeskind, MD, vice president of the NLA, said in a statement. 

The two groups calculated grades for each state measuring atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease mortality, known as ASCVD, in two ways: cardiovascular mortality or coronary heart disease mortality and stroke mortality. They compared them with goals outlined in the HHS' 2030 objectives.  

Overall, the entire country averaged a grade of "D-," according to the Feb. 28 news release. 

"The ASCVD Impact Grades and estimates of ASCVD prevalence, mortality, and risk factors paint a stark picture for our country as a whole," the release states. "Thirteen states and the District of Columbia received an F, and 14 states received a D — meaning they lag behind Healthy People 2030 goals by more than 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively." 

Socioeconomic disparities that exist between races, genders and classes also contribute to worse outcomes for some groups, the report states. Taking these factors into account as physicians and healthcare providers aim to curb these negative cardiovascular outcomes is critical for improvement, the associations assert.

They urge policymakers and clinicians to "use these resources to better understand the need for changes to improve ASCVD outcomes by addressing the policy and socioeconomic barriers that hinder access to ASCVD care and treatment, including insurance practices that delay access to treatment and the social determinants of health which contribute to poor outcomes."

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