Long life, good health
In a new report published today in Circulation, experts outline national and global goals to help people live healthier for longer. While heart disease and stroke-related deaths continue to decline, the rate at which they're declining has slowed and obesity rates are on the rise.
"We believe every person should enjoy health and well-being no matter their age, gender, race, or even the zip code in which they live. And we know disparities exist even to that level—from one block of a city to another," says John Warner, M.D., Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs at UT Southwestern Medical Center and senior author on the report. The American Heart Association 2030 Impact Goals aim to help all people live healthier for more years of their life:
- Across the U.S.: Together, we will equitably increase healthy life expectancy from 66 to 68 years by 2030.
- Around the world: Together with global and local collaborators, we will equitably increase worldwide healthy life expectancy from 64 to at least 67 years by 2030.
According to the report, the trend toward cardiovascular health around the U.S. has been generally positive, with adults getting more active and people eating healthier, smoking less, and better controlling their cholesterol. However, some areas continue to worsen: Nearly 40 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of youth in the U.S. are now obese; only 26 percent of U.S. youth meet the national recommendations of an hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity; and between 1990 and 2017 diabetes prevalence in the U.S. increased 129.7 percent for men and 120.9 percent for women.
"To improve individual health, we must make the environments where we live, work, learn, and play equitably supportive of healthy behaviors. We also need to help people better understand the impact their communities have in driving choices for health and well-being," Warner says.