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Friday, May 8, 2015


CDC data suggesting that about one-quarter of cardiovascular deaths in the US are preventable received coverage in two of the most widely-circulated papers in the country, on at least ten major websites, and on one of last night’s national news broadcasts. Nearly all of the articles quote CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. Much of the coverage focuses on the finding that many of the preventable deaths occur in individuals younger than age 65.
The CBS Evening News reported, “The CDC estimates one in four deaths from heart attack and stroke can be prevented.”
USA Today (9/4, Hellmich, 5.82M) reports currently, there are approximately 800,000 deaths annually in the US from cardiovascular disease. However, about 200,000 of these deaths “could be prevented if people made healthy changes including stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, doing more physical activity, eating less salt and managing their high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, says” the CDC report.
The Wall Street Journal (9/4, Mckay, Winslow, Subscription Publication, 5.33M) reports that Frieden said, “As a doctor, I find it really heartbreaking to know that the vast majority of people who are having a heart attack or stroke under the age of 65 in particular and dying from it didn’t have to have that happen.”
Bloomberg News (9/4, Edney, 1.41M) reports that while “the rate of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke fell 30 percent from 2001 to 2010,” there was little “improvement in those younger than 65, the CDC said.”
Reuters (9/4, Steenhuysen) reports that Frieden pointed out that although “those who are age 65 to 74 still have the greatest rate of heart attack and stroke, more than half of the preventable deaths – about six in 10 – happen in people under the age of 65.”
The US News & World Report (9/4, Bidwell, 595K) reports that the data indicated that “African-Americans are nearly twice as likely as whites to die from preventable heart disease and stroke,” which can be attributed to “an increased prevalence of other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and low fruit and vegetable consumption.”
On its website, CBS News (9/4, Jaslow, 5.42M) reports that the data indicated that “counties with the highest avoidable death rates were located primarily in the South,” but “Frieden emphasized this isn’t just a problem facing black residents in these regions, and said a map of only white individuals would look virtually the same.”
Also covering the story are the CNN (9/4, 11.58M) “The Chart” blog, the Los Angeles Times (9/4, Morin, 3.4M), the NPR (9/4, Hensley, 405K) “Shots” blog, the FOX News (9/4, Serrie, 6.72M) website, the Chicago Sun-Times (9/4, Thomas, 1.19M), MedPage Today (9/4, Phend, 185K), HealthDay (9/4, Reinberg, 2K), Medscape (9/4, Brooks, 187K), and CQ (9/4, Adams, Subscription Publication, 530).

Posted by:  Steven Almany M.D.

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