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Cost of Treatment for Heart Disease and Stroke Increasing

Year-end report cites lack of physical activity, increase in obesity, poorly controlled cholesterol

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated cost of treatment for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States in 2010 is estimated to be $503.2 billion, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year, according to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics -- 2010 Update, published online Dec. 17 in Circulation.

As part of the year-end compilation of statistics on heart disease and stroke, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues note that a high percentage of adolescents report no physical activity, and the percentage increases with age.

The report also notes that 59 percent of adults report no vigorous physical activity, many high-risk individuals are not adequately controlling their cholesterol, and the obesity rate continues to be high in children and adolescents. Controlling waist size, blood sugar levels, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides has strong potential to reduce death rates, the authors write.

"While many people may need medication to manage these risk factors, lifestyle interventions are effective and important, and can even reduce the need for medications," Lloyd-Jones commented in a press release.

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