Important Terms On Heart Diseases From AHA

Important terms on heart diseases from AHA

Every year, the American Heart Association along with the National Institute of Health, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and other local agencies come up with the Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical update that includes all important statistics and figures on heart diseases, stroke and cardiovascular diseases. This is an important resource for healthcare professionals, researchers, media, and public. The reports also give an outlined description of the cost for treating these diseases. The most important thing about the 2012 heart and stroke statistics is that it serves as a vital source of reference for the American Heart Association’s 2020 goals in minimizing deaths due to stroke and heart diseases.

  • Prevalence

Prevalence is an important term related to heart disease and the risk factors that are related to it. It refers to the number of people who suffer from a specific disease or risk factor at a particular point of time. The numbers are derived from the periodic health surveys conducted by the government agencies. The ratio of prevalence is calculated to the existing population in the country during the time of survey. The prevalence rates tend to remain unchanged from a particular year to the succeeding year until a new health survey is taken. Therefore, the annual changes in the prevalence report found in the Heart Disease & Stroke Statistics Update reflect only the population changes and not the year-over-year changes.

  • Mortality

Mortality figures give the most accurate data on death due to stroke and cardiovascular diseases. These data are derived from the death reports and are compiled by the state health agencies and sent to the National Center for Health Statistics. The given information is then tabulated into death-related factors such as age, sex, and ethnicity. As this process is time-consuming it normally takes two years before the data appears on the Heart Disease & Stroke Statistics Update.

  • Death rate

Death rate is another important term that appears in the Heart Disease & Stroke Statistics Update. It is the ratio of the mortality rate to the total population. Generally, the national death rates are calculated per every 100,000 people. Crude death rate is actually obtained by calculating the ratio of mortality to the population. To make the report more understandable for the referrers they are classified as per the age and tabulated accordingly. It is also to be noted that 2000 is considered a standard year for the age-specific details.

  • Diseases of the heart

“Diseases of the heart” is a common term that is published in the National Center for Health Statistics to give appropriate details on the factors leading to the death of a person. This category includes a list of diseases that are connected to the heart. Some of them are:

  • Hypertensive Heart Disease and Hypertensive Heart and Renal Disease
  • Acute Rheumatic Fever/Chronic Rheumatic Heart Diseases
  • Coronary Heart Disease

and other heart diseases including heart failure.

Nevertheless, do not be confused between the terms “Diseases of the heart” and “Total cardiovascular diseases”. The American Heart Association prefers using the latter to describe the most major death-causing factors whereas the “Diseases of the heart” section also describes some information about the “Total Cardiovascular Disease” mortality rate.

Article written and published by Sun Maag. Visit for PALS & ACLS recertification and more.