Healthcare Economy

Cities Where the Most People Have Heart Attacks

5. Charleston, W.Va.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.3% (tied for 5th highest)
> Pct. obese: 32.9% (8th highest)
> Pct. who smoke: 32.1% (the highest)
> Median household income: $40,990

Physical health in Charleston was worse than any other metro area except for nearby Huntington-Ashland. More than 41% of the people in the Charleston area had been told they had high blood pressure, the second-highest rate in the country. Also, nearly 33% of the people in the Charleston metro were obese, higher than all but seven other areas. Like many other places on this list, people in Charleston as a whole tended to have poor health habits. More than 32% of people smoked, the highest percentage in the country. In addition, the percentages of people who exercised and ate healthy regularly were below the national rates.

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4. Utica-Rome, N.Y.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.6%
> Pct. obese: 30.1% (29th highest)
> Pct. who smoke: 26.7% (16th highest)
> Median household income: $45,111

Like most other cities on this list, Utica had poor physical health and healthy behavior. More than 34% of people have been told they had high blood pressure, considerably higher than the 27.6% of people across the U.S. who have been told the same thing. Just over 47% of people in the area said they exercised at least three days in the previous week for at least 30 minutes. This was among the bottom 10 of all metro areas. In addition, the area ranked seventh worst in the Gallup Healthways survey for overall life evaluation, a measure that looks at whether people are thriving, struggling or suffering in their day-to-day life.

3. Fort Smith, Ark.-Okla.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.7% (tied for 2nd highest)
> Pct. obese: 28.9% (42nd highest)
> Pct. who smoke: 25.8% (21st highest)
> Median household income: $35,965

Physical health in the Fort Smith area was worse than all but the Charleston and the Huntington, W.Va., areas, according to Gallup. Just over 60% of the people surveyed said they slept well in the previous evening, the lowest of all metro areas. Meanwhile, more than 42% of the population noted that they had recurring neck or back pain, higher than all other areas. In addition to having higher than average smoking rates and lower than average rates of consistent exercise, just over 49% of people in Fort Smith said they ate five servings of fruits and veggies in at least four days in the previous week, lower than all but three other metro areas. The 2011 median household income in the Fort Smith area was just $35,965, among the lowest in the country.

2. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Iowa-Ill.
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 6.7% (tied for 2nd highest)
> Pct. obese: 26.3% (82nd highest)
> Pct. who smoke: 21.0% (91st highest)
> Median household income: $47,122

The Davenport metro area actually performed well in terms of overall physical health, scoring near the top 20% of all metro areas. However, the quad cities area did have its weaknesses. As many as 28.7% were told they had high blood pressure, far from the highest but more than a percentage point higher than the national rate. The Davenport area also had a higher percentage of people experiencing recurring pain, especially in the knee or leg area. While people in the metro area also ate healthier and exercised more frequently than the nation as a whole, 21% of adults in the area smoked, compared to 19.2% across the country.

1. Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio
> Pct. reporting heart attack: 8.9%
> Pct. obese: 37.7% (2nd highest)
> Pct. who smoke: 30.0% (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $36,894

A whopping 8.9% of people in the Huntington-Ashland area said they had a heart attack, higher than any other metro area. Overall, people in the area had the worst physical health than any other metro area measured by Gallup and Healthways. More than 43% said they had high blood pressure, while 39.6% said they had recurring pain in either the knee or leg, both higher than any other area surveyed. Nearly 38% of the area’s population was considered obese, higher than all but one other area. Poor health habits were a problem in the Huntington area. As many as 30% of the population smoked, higher than all but two other areas. Meanwhile, 46.5% of people said they worked out at least three days in the previous week for at least 30 minutes, also among the lowest in the country.

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