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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1999 Aug 6;48(30):649-56.

Decline in deaths from heart disease and stroke--United States, 1900-1999.


Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States since 1921, and stroke has been the third leading cause since 1938; together they account for approximately 40% of all deaths. Since 1950, age-adjusted death rates from cardiovascular disease (CVD) have declined 60%, representing one of the most important public health achievements of the 20th century. This report summarizes the temporal trends in CVD, advances in the understanding of risk factors for CVD, development of prevention interventions to reduce these risks, and improvements in therapy for persons who develop CVD.

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