Heart Disease :: Heart disease leading killer in US

Heart disease hits Americans who live in southern states harder than residents of other regions of the country, according to the latest annual survey of cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) as an underlying cause of death accounted for more than one-third (36.3 percent) of all deaths in the United States in 2004, according to the most recent data from the American Heart Association?s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics ? 2007 Update.

The Update provides the most recent statistics about cardiovascular diseases, risk factors, treatments, quality of care and costs of care. The American Heart Association does not generate the data, but synthesizes it from many sources.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure and congenital cardiovascular defects. Counting only heart disease, this has been the leading cause of death in the United States every year since 1900 except during the 1918 flu epidemic.