The good news: For the past 20 years, heart disease deaths have decreased by almost 50 percent in the United States. The bad news: A new report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology states this rate of decrease has dramatically slowed among middle-aged Americans (35 to 54). Among men, the rate was decreasing at a rate of 6.2 percent  to the ’80s but then fell to a mere 0.5 percent in 2000. And in some cases death rates amplified—women saw a 1.5 percent increase in 2000–02. Researchers speculate that poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise and hypertension are to blame for their findings.

Despite the overall cut in mortality rates, heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death for African-American adults. Learn more about reducing your risk of heart disease by visiting