Cardiovascular Disease in Illinois

Heart disease refers to several diseases of the heart. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can cause a heart attack. Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Illinois and the United States and is responsible for nearly 80 percent of cardiovascular deaths. In 2009, nearly 25,000 deaths in adults age 35 and older in Illinois were due to heart disease.

There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. Some risk factors cannot be changed, such as family history, gender, ethnicity and age. Other risk factors can be managed to help prevent cardiovascular disease. These risk factors are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and excessive alcohol use. When compared to the United States, Illinois has a higher prevalence for the risk factors of high cholesterol, obesity, poor nutrition, and excessive alcohol use. Illinois has a lower prevalence of the risk factors of high blood pressure, smoking, and physical inactivity than the United States.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program defines the ABCS of cardiovascular health as Aspirin therapy, high Blood pressure (including sodium reduction), high Cholesterol, and Smoking cessation. The CDC NHDSP guideline, Strategies to Address the "ABCS," describes screening tests and behavioral changes around the ABCS that can be used to help diagnose, control and prevent further damage from cardiovascular disease.

More information on heart disease in Illinois is available in the 2013 report: The Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in Illinois.

Illinois' Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program site contains more data and resources.