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American Heart Disease
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The number one killer in America is cardiovascular disease. In 1991, heart and blood vessel diseases
killed more than 923,000 Americans. More than two of every five Americans die of cardiovascular
disease. Today, more than one in five Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease,
with more than 2,500 Americans dying from it each day. Of those with heart disease, 52.2 percent
are male and 47.8 percent are female; 88.2 percent are white, 9.5 percent are black, and 2.4
percent are of other races. Clearly, heart disease is a national concern.

At least 250,000 people die of heart attacks each year before they reach a hospital. Half of all heart
attack victims wait more than two hours before getting help. Studies show that under-educated
people are more likely to suffer heart attacks. Estimates are that 3 million Americans suffer
occasional chest pain.

As many as 50 million Americans have high blood pressure, the leading contributor to heart disease.
Of those people, 35 percent don't know they have it. High blood pressure is easily detectable and
usually controllable.

Of thirty-five countries surveyed in 1991, the United States cardiovascular death rate ranked 17th for
both males and females. The highest death rates were in the Soviet Union, Romania, Poland,
Bulgaria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. The lowest were in Japan, France, Spain, Switzerland, and
Canada.

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