(CNN/Gray News) – There’s been a startling shift in the death rates of Americans with cardiometabolic diseases – heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure – in recent years.
New research published in the medical journal JAMA shows those rates have either plateaued or climbed after falling from the late 1990s until about 2010.
"We are losing ground in the battle against cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Sadiya Khan, an assistant professor of cardiology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. “Understanding what is contributing to these alarming trends may help direct specific strategies for prevention.”
Khan was the senior author of the research, which was based on death certificates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's database.
The study also shows a racial divide in the numbers.
The research found that black adults consistently had higher cardiometabolic-related death rates than white adults, and black men had the highest rates.
Khan pointed out that most of these deaths are preventable.
“Our findings make it clear that we are losing ground in the battle against cardiovascular disease,” she said.
"We need to shift our focus as a nation toward prevention to achieve our goal of living longer, healthier and free of cardiovascular disease."