Cardiologist Via Pexels

A study by the American Heart Association has revealed that by 2050 cardiovascular disease (CVD) could affect at least 6 in 10 adults in the United States. The projections are even more staggering for Latinos as the study found that they hold the biggest rise in the total number of people with the disease.

Latino children are also projected to have the highest obesity rates, along with the greatest projected growth in obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

As Dr. Karen E. Joynt Maddox, chair of the writing committee, put it: "we found larger increases in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and risk factors, and in the number of people with these conditions, among people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds."

Other insights from other minorities seem to support this idea. Black adults, for example are projected to have the highest rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, as well as the highest rates of inadequate sleep and poor diets while Asian adults are projected to have the highest rates of inadequate physical activity.

While much of this trend can be linked back to demographic shifts in the population (the Hispanic, Asian, and multiracial populations in the U.S. are expected to more than double by 2060), Maddox is also quick to point out that a lot of the disparity "remains attributed to systemic racism, as well as socioeconomic factors and access to care."

The overall projections of the study indicate a significant increase in heart disease, stroke, and key risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity. The rising prevalence of these conditions is expected to triple the related costs to $1.8 trillion by 2050.

Other insights from the study include:

  • Hypertension, a major contributor to heart disease and stroke, is projected to increase from 51.2% of the population in 2020 to 61% by 2050.
  • The prevalence of CVD is expected to rise from 11.3% to 15% of the population, with stroke rates doubling.
  • Obesity is projected to affect 60.6% of the population by 2050, up from 43.1% in 2020, particularly impacting adults aged 20 to 64 due to unhealthy diets.
  • The diabetes rate is expected to increase from 16.3% to 26.8%.

The demographic shifts in the U.S. population will further exacerbate the burden of CVD. By 2030, one in five people in the U.S. will be over 65, outnumbering children for the first time. The aging population will significantly contribute to the increased burden of CVD.

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