Heart Disease Declining Slightly In The U.S., New Data Shows

Coronary heart disease is, on a whole, decreasing in the United States, though some states individually have seen increases of the disease, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between 2006 and 2010, the coronary heart disease rate decreased from 6.7 percent to 6 percent, the new report says. The CDC says this is likely due to a decrease of heart disease in at-risk populations (like smokers and people with high blood pressure), as well as better treatments for heart disease.

"We're all at risk for heart disease and stroke," Dr. Jing Fang, M.D., an epidemiologist at the CDC's Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, said in a statement. "People of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities are affected. However, certain groups, including American Indians/Alaskan Natives, African Americans and older adults, are at higher risk than others."

Certain states have seen a decline in coronary heart disease, while others haven't. West Virginia, for example, had a 23.1 percent decline in coronary heart disease -- the biggest decline among all the states -- and Missouri had a 22.1 percent decline. Meanwhile, Maine saw a 14.3 percent increase in the prevalence of coronary heart disease, according to the report.

Coronary heart disease occurs when the small blood vessels that lead to the heart and carry blood and oxygen become narrowed. This could ultimately lead to heart failure.

Older people, men and post-menopausal women, people with a family history and African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans and Mexican Americans all have an increased risk of coronary heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Recently, the United Nations considered heart disease as one of the new global killers, a shift from infectious diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS.