Avoiding Avoidable Death in Gallatin County

September 5, 2013 | General, Heart Health

A new statement from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) highlighted a staggering truth: 200,000 human deaths each year caused by heart disease, stroke, and hypertension are avoidable.

Although we encourage you to read the CDC’s report in length, here are some highlights:

  • Nearly ¼ of cardiovascular (heart) diseases are avoidable
  • In 2010, the total number of avoidable deaths from heart disease, stroke, and hypertensive disease was 200,070
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 30% of all deaths annually (nearly 800,000)
  • Many heart disease and stroke deaths could be avoided through improvements in lifestyle behaviors, treatment of risk factors, and addressing the social determinants of health (i.e., economic and social conditions that influence the health of individuals and communities)
  • Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g., tobacco use, inadequate physical activity, poor diet, and excessive alcohol use) coupled with uncontrolled hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and obesity account for 80% of ischemic heart disease mortality and approximately 50% of stroke mortality in high-income countries such as the United States
  • Hypertension is the single most important risk factor for stroke, and its control is essential to reducing death from stroke

Some demographics:

  • Those under 65 years old had lower rates than those aged 65–74, but still accounted for a considerable share of avoidable deaths and demonstrated less improvement.
  • 56% of the deaths (112,329) occurred among those under 65 years
  • Death rates in 2010 were highest in the oldest age group (65–74 years)
  • Avoidable deaths were higher among males (83.7 per 100,000) than females (39.6 per 100,000)
  • Avoidable deaths were  higher among blacks (107.3 per 100,000) compared with other races/ethnicities
  • Gallatin County’s avoidable death rate due to cardiovascular disease from 2008-2010 was 18.1-49.8 deaths per 100,000 deaths


There are many ways to take control of your health. Residents of Gallatin County are fortunate enough to be surrounded by plenty of safe and fun outdoor recreation, opportunities to access healthy foods, resources for help quitting tobacco, and trusted medical clinics.


Check out the full CDC report here for more statistics and information about avoidable deaths due to cardiovascular disease, and check in tomorrow for 6 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease.