Healthcare Economy

Cities Where the Most People Have Heart Attacks

10. Reading, Penn.
> Pct who have had heart attack: 6.0%
> Pct. obese: 32.8% (9th highest)
> Pct. who smoke: 21.6% (73rd highest)
> Median household income: $52,307

As many as 6% of people surveyed in the Reading area had a heart attack, among the highest rates in the country. Nearly 33% of them were obese, higher than all but eight other metro areas and eight percentage points higher than the national obesity rate. Lack of exercise is likely contributing to the problem. Just 46.4% of residents said they had exercised at least three times for at least 30 minutes in the previous week. This was among the lowest percentages in the country and well below the nearly 53% of people across the country who worked out at least that much.

9. Duluth, Minn.-Wisc.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.2% (tied for 8th highest)
> Pct. obese: 26.9% (68th highest)
> Pct. who smoke: 19.6% (78th lowest)
> Median household income: $46,110

In many respects, people in Duluth were in better health than the country as a whole. For instance, the percentage of people with both high blood pressure and high cholesterol were below the national rate. However, nearly 27% of people surveyed were considered obese, higher than the 24.8% obesity rate across the country. Like most areas on this list, Duluth’s median household income was lower than the national median. In 2011, it was about $4,400 less than the U.S. median of $50,502. In addition, Duluth had a slightly higher poverty rate of 16.6% than the U.S. poverty rate of 15.9%.

Also Read: Ten Cities Where the Poor Can’t Get Rich

8. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.2% (tied for 8th highest)
> Pct. obese: 23.1% (48th lowest)
> Pct. who smoke: 19.9% (82nd lowest)
> Median household income: $45,266

Overall physical health in Cape Coral was better than the country as a whole. However, 32% of adults had been told they had high blood pressure, above the 27.6% across the country. Moreover, 30% of those surveyed had been told they had high cholesterol, also much higher than the 24.% nationwide. Still, those in Cape Coral tended to display healthier behaviors than the nation as a whole. For instance, 74.4% of people said they ate healthy all through the previous day, higher than all but four other metro areas. Also, 54.7% of people said they exercised at least 30 minutes in three or more days the previous week, also above the national rate.

7. Olympia, Wash.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.3% (tied for 5th highest)
> Pct. obese: 23.8% (58th lowest)
> Pct. who smoke: 21.5% (78th highest)
> Median household income: $60,061

Olympia ranked as one of the worst metropolitan areas for physical health, according to the Gallup-Healthways study. People in the area had higher rates of recurring pain than the country as a whole, especially in the neck and back. The percentage of people who smoked, 21.5%, was also higher than the 19.1% smoking rate nationwide. Similarly, the percentage of people who regularly exercised was also below the national rate. Unlike most of the metro areas on this list, Olympia residents were more educated and earned a higher income than the average of U.S. residents. More than 94% of adult residents had at least a high school diploma as of 2011, compared to just under 86% nationally.

6. Knoxville, Tenn.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.3% (tied for 5th highest)
> Pct. obese: 24.2% (66th lowest)
> Pct. who smoke: 19.2% (74th lowest)
> Median household income: $44,514

Physical health in Knoxville is worse than most of the country. Nearly 14% of adults in the area were diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 10.2% of people across the United States. In addition, more than 34% of adults were told they had high blood pressure, while just under 30% were told they had high cholesterol, both considerably higher than the national rates. Just 47.7% of people in Knoxville said they worked out at least three days in the past week for at least 30 minutes a session, compared to 52.9% nationwide. The percentage of people who said it was easy to get affordable fruits and vegetables was lower than the country as a whole, as was the percentage who said they had enough money for both food and medicine.

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