Americans are dying from heart disease at a faster rate, halting four decades of gains against the nation’s leading killer and driving up the U.S. mortality rate. According to The Wall Street Journal, the death rate from heart disease rose .9% last year which contributed to a decrease in the average life expectancy by one-tenth of a percentage point to 78.8 years.
For more than a century, cardiovascular disease has been the biggest killer in the U.S. However, death rates from heart disease have declined nearly 70% since 1969 due to medical advances, blood pressure medications and other factors. While obesity is most likely to blame for the higher death rate from heart disease, it is too uncertain to tell whether it is the beginning of a longer upward trend.