A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology projected an alarming rise in cardiovascular disease incidence among Black and Hispanic Americans over the next few decades, with a particular impact on older individuals. The authors calculated predictions for the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the US from 2025-2060.
To identify heart health trends in the US, the researchers combined projections for population growth and demographic distribution from the US Census Bureau 2020 report with data on the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular disease from 2013-2018 using the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Regression models were applied to adjust for age, sex, race, ethnicity, and survey years.
The authors reported that by 2060, compared with 2025, the number of people with diabetes will increase by 15.4 million (39.3%), obesity by 19.4 million (18.3%), dyslipidemia by 27.1 million (27.5%), and hypertension by 34.7 million (27.2%), respectively.
They also noted corresponding increases in heart failure (3.2 million; 33.0%), myocardial infarction (3.7 million; 30.1%), stroke (3.7 million; 34.3%), and ischemic heart disease (6.8 million; 31.1%).
The authors reported that race and ethnicity were significantly associated with trends in cardiovascular disease. Levels of cardiovascular risk factors and disease were projected to decrease among White individuals but increase for racial and ethnic minorities.
In a corresponding editorial published in JACC, co-authors Andreas P. Kalogeropoulos, MD, MPH, PhD, and Javed Butler, MD, MPH, MBA, called for action to address these racial and ethnic disparities. They noted that the study found that the total number of racial and ethnic minority patients with cardiovascular disease is expected to surpass the number of White patients with cardiovascular disease by 2060. “From a policy perspective, this means that unless appropriate, targeted action is taken, disparities in the burden of cardiovascular disease are only going to be exacerbated over time,” Drs. Kalogeropoulos and Butler wrote.
The authors called for policies to address lifestyle and public health education for both primary and cardiovascular care, highlighting 3 points: emphasizing cardiovascular disease prevention, optimizing cardiovascular care teams, and adapting the training of future cardiologists.
They concluded by calling on professional societies to view these data as an opportunity to re-evaluate priorities and strategies for cardiovascular care in the US.