By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20%. Total cardiovascular disease has decreased 13.9%, while stroke is down 11.9%, as of June 2020.
- Improvement to CV: Health 3.8%
- Total CVD: -13.9%
- Stroke: -11.9%
COVID-19 & Health Equity Gaps Make Our Goals More Urgent Than Ever
Since we established the 2020 Impact Goal in 2010, millions of people are enjoying longer, healthier lives. Although we didn’t achieve the goal, it doesn’t erase the importance of our progress, while shining a light on the critical work that’s left to complete.
For example, a bright spot is that fewer people are smoking than in 2010. The bad news is more people are overweight or obese.
To further complicate matters, this year we’re viewing the 2020 goal data in the shadow of COVID-19. In the presence of the pandemic, those with uncontrolled blood pressure, diabetes, obesity have fared worse — both with their COVID-19 and cardiovascular outcomes.
Further, COVID-19 has put a spotlight on unacceptable racial and ethnic disparities. These disparities are driven in large part by social determinants of health such as lower access to healthy food or quality health care. In turn, the social determinants are deeply rooted in structural racism, which is the system of laws, policies and societal norms that perpetuate inequality among racial groups. As we look ahead to celebrating AHA’s 100th anniversary in 2024, it makes our work to remove these barriers and to address inequities in cardiovascular health more urgent than ever.
Overall CVD mortality has declined 13.9%. The CVD mortality decreases are most dramatic for Asian/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and Black people. However, disparities persist, and Black people are nearly 33% more likely to die from CVD compared to the total population.
Stroke mortality has declined 11.9%. Decreases are most dramatic for Asian/Pacific Islanders and Black people, but disparities persist. Black people are more than 40% more likely to die from stroke compared to the total population.
*Improvement in cardiovascular health is based on average changes across seven health components. Improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking are being offset by unfavorable changes in BMI, physical activity and diet.