After decades of decline, fatal coronary heart disease may rise again unless Americans modify three major risk factors: smoking, drinking, and obesity. A Rutgers study just published in American Heart Journal found that deaths from coronary heart disease among people ages 25 to 84 dropped to 236,953 in 2019 from 397,623 in 1990, even though Americans’ median age increased to 38 from 33 over the last three decades.

Between 1990 and 2019, the US age-standardized coronary heart disease mortality rate per 100,000 fell from 210.5 to 66.8 for females (4 percent decline per year) and from 442.4 to 156.7 for males (3.7 percent decline per year). However, the decline has slowed significantly since 2011. Those born after 1980 were actually at slightly increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease at any age than people from the previous generation. The findings echo those from the same team’s investigation of stroke-related deaths in the US. To read the full story.