The States With the Most Heart Disease

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10. Indiana
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 8.8%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 4.7% (7th highest)
> Population: 6,666,818

Indiana has the 10th highest share of adults living with heart disease. Some possible factors include the prevalence of depression and diabetes among the state population. The state’s adult obesity rate is the 10th highest in the country. The shares of people who smoke and don’t exercise are also among the highest. All of these are major factors contributing to cardiovascular problems.

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9. Missouri
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 9.2%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 4.5% (10th highest)
> Population: 6,113,532

Unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and sedentary lifestyles are prevalent in Missouri. The state has the seventh highest share of smoking adults at 22.1%, compared to a national smoking rate of 17.0%. Also, Missouri has the 11th highest share of inactive adults and the 12th highest adult obesity rate. Obesity can increase the risk of stroke — inflammation caused by the excess fatty tissue can restrict blood flow, leading to a stroke. In Missouri, 4.2% of adults have had a stroke, the ninth highest share of all states and above the national share of 3.0%.

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8. Arkansas
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 9.3%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 4.6% (tied, 8th highest)
> Population: 3,004,279

Arkansas ranks highly in two major behaviors that can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The state has the second highest share of adults who do not engage in physical activity — about a third compared to 23.0% nationally — and the third highest share of adults who smoke at 23.6% compared to a national smoking rate of 17.0%. At 24.5%, no other state has a higher share of adults who report being in fair or poor health, compared to 16.0% of adults nationwide.

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7. Oklahoma
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 9.4%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 5.4% (3rd highest)
> Population: 3,930,864

Several factors may explain the high share of adults living with heart disease in Oklahoma. One of them is obesity. Of adults in the state, 36.5% are obese, the third highest adult obesity rate of all states. Another factor is sedentary lifestyles. The physical inactivity rate, both weekly and monthly, is among the highest in the country. About 57.5% of adult residents do not exercise enough a week, the second highest share of all states and above the corresponding national rate of 49.8%. And 32.4% of adults do not exercise at all during a month, the fourth highest share in the country, and compared to a national rate of 25.7%. Lack of insurance may also be a factor as 14.2% of adult residents are uninsured, the second highest uninsured rate after only Texas. Nationwide, 8.7% of adults are uninsured.

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6. Louisiana
> Adults with cardiovascular disease: 9.7%
> Adults who’ve had heart attack: 4.9% (6th highest)
> Population: 4,684,333

Poor diet, especially one that lacks fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, is a known risk factor for heart disease. And Louisiana has the highest share of adults who do not eat fruits and vegetables regularly. Smoking and sedentary lifestyles, two other major risk factors of heart disease, are also prevalent in the state. The state has the third highest share of obese adults in the country at 34.7% compared to 28.0% nationally.

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