Two companion papers by American Heart Association (AHA) researchers predict a significant increase in conditions related to cardiovascular disease in the United States by 2050.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and high blood pressure, or hypertension, among other conditions. CVD is the leading cause of deaths for all U.S. adults, but some groups carry a heavier burden. For example, 47% of Black adults have been diagnosed with CVD, compared with 36% of white adults, according to the Cleveland Clinic.


New research published in Circulation estimates that more than 61% of U.S. adults will have some type of CVD by 2050, according to the AHA. This is largely driven by a projected 184 million people with hypertension, up from 128 million in 2020.


“We found larger increases in the prevalence of CVD and risk factors and in the number of people with these conditions among people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds,” Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH, an associate professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine told the AHA


AHA projects that Black people will have the highest prevalence of obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Black adults are also projected to have the highest prevalence of inadequate sleep and poor diet, which are risk factors for heart disease.


The total projected numbers of people with CVD and poor health increased the most among Latino adults and Asian populations.


"Some of this is due to demographic shifts in the U.S., with projections suggesting that Asian and Hispanic populations will nearly double by 2060. However, much of the inequity we see in CVD and risk factors remains attributed to systemic racism as well as socioeconomic factors and access to care,” Maddox said.


However, the report notes some positive trends, including greater participation in heart-healthy activities among adults. Inadequate physical inactivity rates will improve from 33.5% to 24.2%. What’s more, rates of cigarette smoking are expected to drop by nearly half from 15.8% to 8.4%.


To read more, click #Heart Health or #Hypertension. There, you’ll find headlines such as “Heart Attack Incidence Still High Among Women and Blacks Despite Overall Decrease,” “Hypertension in Young Black Women May Triple Stroke Risk” and “Adverse Social Determinants of Health Linked to Treatment-Resistant Hypertension in Black Americans.”