The States With the Least Heart Disease

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25. Arizona
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 6.9% (tied with Maryland)
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 3.7% (22nd highest)
> Population: 7,016,270

In Arizona, 6.9% of adults live with heart disease, in line with the national rate. Many of the risk factors for heart disease are as prevalent among the state population as they are nationwide. The adult obesity and excessive drinking rates are in line with the average nationwide. Poverty, however, can be a risk factor, according to a University of California at Davis study. People who live in poverty have less access to health care and healthy food — two other known risk factors — and Arizona has the 11th highest poverty rate in the country.

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24. Virginia
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 6.8%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 3.2% (12th lowest)
> Population: 8,470,020

Virginia is one of the wealthiest states in the nation with a median household income of more than $71,000 a year. Wealthier areas tend to have a lower risk of heart disease in part due to increased access to health care and healthier lifestyles. The share of adults with cardiovascular disease in Virginia is close to the national share of 6.9%. This may be partially attributable to the fact that it has one of the 10 highest shares of overweight residents at 36.3%. Though being overweight is not as severe a risk as obesity, it increases the risk of heart disease.

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23. Nevada
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 6.8%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 3.7% (22nd highest)
> Population: 2,998,039

While the adult obesity rate and the share of adults who do not engage in physical activity in Nevada are below the national averages, the state has one of the highest shares of uninsured residents. About 11.2% of state residents lack health coverage, the eighth highest uninsured rate in the country and higher than the 8.7% uninsured rate nationwide. Lack of coverage may discourage people from seeking help because doctor visits, tests, and treatment can be too expensive.

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22. Washington
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 6.7%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 3.4% (16th lowest)
> Population: 7,405,743

Physical activity is one of the most common ways people can reduce the risk of heart disease, and Washington has one of the highest rates of active adults of any state. Just 19.2% of adults got no physical activity in the last month, as compared to 25.7% of all American adults. Another behavior associated with heart disease, smoking, is also relatively rare in the state. Just 13.5% of adults smoke in Washington, one of the five lowest smoking rates of all states and well below the U.S. 17.0% smoking rate.

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21. Wyoming
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 6.7%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 4.0% (17th highest)
> Population: 579,315

Major risk factors of heart disease among Wyoming’s population, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, tend to be less or as prevalent as they are nationwide. Still, the state has one of the highest shares of adults who do not have health insurance and who do not consider anyone their personal doctor or health care provider. Also, the number of primary care doctors per capita is among the 15 lowest among states. Skipping regular checkups may result in undiagnosed — and untreated — conditions leading to heart disease.