HealthDay News — The rate of decline in cardiovascular disease mortality has decelerated, according to research published online June 29 in JAMA Cardiology.

In an effort to determine whether changes in national trends had occurred in recent years in cardiovascular disease mortality rates, Stephen Sidney, MD, MPH, director of research clinics at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, and colleagues analyzed data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers found that the annual mortality rate dropped 3.69% for heart disease and 4.53% for stroke from 2000 to 2011. However, those rates dropped less than 1% from 2011 to 2014. Through this time, the annual rate of decline in cancer deaths remained stable, at 1.49%. The slowing in the decline of the mortality rate from heart disease and stroke occurred in men and women, and in most racial and ethnic groups, the investigators noted.

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Before 2011, it was anticipated that the mortality rate from heart disease would become lower than the cancer death rate, and heart disease would no longer be the leading cause of death in the United States for the first time in nearly 100 years, Sidney told HealthDay. But, “because of the deceleration in the decline of heart mortality, it still remains the leading cause of death,” he said.


  1. Sidney S, Quesenberry CP, Jaffe MG, et al. Recent trends in cardiovascular mortality in the United States and public health goals. JAMA Cardiol. 2016; doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016.1326
  2. Lloyd-Jones DM. Slowing progress in cardiovascular mortality rates. You reap what you sow. JAMA Cardiology. 2016; doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016.1348