Rates of death from cancer in the U.S. have continued to decline, but deaths due to heart disease are on the rise, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found that cancer deaths were down 19% for adults aged 45 to 64 who died between 1999 and 2017. Heart disease deaths for adults in the same age range had declined by 22% between 1999 and 2011, but then increased 4% by 2017.
Similar patterns were observed in men and women, but white women saw a 12% increase in rates of death from heart disease, while Hispanic women saw an overall decrease.
“It has to do with obesity, a lack of a healthy lifestyle, and really the increasing incidence and prevalence of hypertension,” Mariell Jessup, MD, of the American Health Association, told CNN. “The good news about cardiovascular disease and stroke is that 90% of cardiovascular disease is preventable.”
Cancer and heart disease remain the leading causes of death among middle-aged Americans.