Heart disease and stroke-related deaths are on the rise due to obesity. Therefore, eating a balanced diet, following healthy lifestyle strategies and exercising regularly can cut down the risk of obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
Heart disease and stroke mortality rates have almost stopped declining in many high-income countries and are even increasing in some countries, reveals a new study.
For the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers from the University of Melbourne analyzed trends in cardiovascular disease mortality, which consists of mainly heart disease and stroke -- in 23 high-income countries since the year 2000.
Cardiovascular disease mortality rates have increased in the most recent years in US and Canadian females, while in Australia, the UK, and New Zealand annual declines in deaths from cardiovascular diseases are now 20 to 50 percent.
"Research suggests that obesity, or at least poor diet, may have been a significant contributor to the slowdown in the decline of cardiovascular disease deaths," said Alan Lopez, Professor at the University of Melbourne.
"Each of these countries have very high levels of obesity. In Australia, close to one-third of adults are obese," Lopez said.
The researchers observed that obesity is the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease mortality -- others include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
"Failure to address these issues could confirm the end of the long-term decline in cardiovascular disease deaths and threaten future gains in life expectancy." concluded study's co-author Tim Adair, a researcher at the varsity.