These US States Prioritize Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, search trends reveal Americans at increased risk for heart disease are eager to learn more.

Google Trends search data gathered by ProTrainings shows southern states or those with higher rural populations are more interested in learning more about hypertension, heart attacks, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Americans looking to learn more about heart health should come as no surprise. The CDC notes about 695,000 people died from heart disease in the U.S. in 2021. Nearly half of the American adult population (48.1%) had hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

With Google encompassing 77% of the search engine market share, it served as a source for ProTrainings to gather specific concerns among Americans regarding heart health.

Hypertension

In 2021, hypertension led to the death of 691,095 Americans. The CDC says about 45% of those with high blood pressure have stage 2 hypertension, a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher.

The CDC lists states with the highest hypertension prevalence as Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maine, and Michigan. States like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Missouri have many counties with high rates of hypertension. Search data from Google search trends overall mirrors the prevalence of hypertension.

The top five states most concerned about hypertension:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Lousiana
  3. Florida
  4. Texas
  5. Alabama

ProTrainings’ Devin Bordeaux feels search trends link with the prevalence of hypertension.

“Hypertension’s search volume was the highest in the southern states, and the South also exhibits the highest number of cardiac-related deaths per 100,000 citizens,” Boudreaux tells Healthnews. “Southern states have a higher death toll which was linked to higher search interest and volumes with residents in those states.”

Heart attacks and heart disease

There are 805,000 individuals in the U.S. who suffer a heart attack each year. Of those, 605,000 suffer a heart attack for the first time while the remaining have previously suffered one. Hypertension, obesity, and diabetes are risk factors for heart attacks.

Top five states most concerned about heart attacks:

  1. Nevada
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Wyoming
  4. Maine
  5. Kentucky

Heart disease refers to several conditions like heart attacks and the most common type, cardiovascular disease, which impacts the blood flow to the heart. The American Heart Association states that more than half of U.S. adults are unaware heart disease is the leading cause of death.

ProTrainings search trends found heart disease was the least searched of the five searchable terms evaluated. However, its rankings nearly mirrored the list for heart attacks.

Top five states most concerned about heart disease

  1. Nevada
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Wyoming
  4. Kentucky
  5. Maine

One correlation we uncovered was that many of the states that ranked the highest for these categories (heart disease and heart attack) have more rural areas in them which opens the door to a variety of possibilities on the correlation of rural areas and heart disease/heart attacks.

Boudreaux

All states in the top five for heart attacks and heart disease ranked in the bottom half of states with the highest population rates. Previous research from the NIH has found adults living in rural areas have a 19% higher risk of developing heart failure compared to urban peers.

Cardiovascular disease

The NIH says cardiovascular disease is the umbrella term, for coronary heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease. Heart disease is a phrase for conditions that affect the heart’s structure and function, but not all cardiovascular diseases are heart diseases.

While rural and more southern states dominated the search concern for heart attacks, hypertension, and heart disease, Washington D.C. — one of the nation’s most congested cities — ranked at the top of concern for cardiovascular disease.

Top 5 states most concerned about cardiovascular disease:

  1. Washington D.C.
  2. Rhode Island
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. Montana

Benefits of CPR for heart health

With cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death and heart attacks occurring every 40 seconds, ProTrainings found that search interest in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is high. Twenty-one states showed a search interest greater than 70% in CPR.

The CDC says CPR keeps blood flowing and provides oxygen to the brain and other vital organs, increasing chances of recovery following cardiac arrest. Boudreaux is pleased to see a high interest in CPR.

“Several of the states with the highest interest in CPR also are ranked in the top 10 worst states for cardiac-related deaths,” Boudreaux says. In general, the search volumes were quite high for seeking more information on CPR, nearly half of the U.S. had a search interest higher than 70% [and] that leads us to believe Americans are interested in learning more.”

ProTrainings contains digital resources for those looking to learn more about CPR.

Overall, the findings concluded that people want to learn more about heart health, and with cardiovascular events impacting Americans every day, it's imperative that we all learn about the risks, side effects, and treatment for a longer life.


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