US Adult Cancer Deaths Have Dropped, But Heart Disease Deaths Are Up

A new CDC report shows that while fewer American adults are dying of cancer, more are dying from heart disease.

US Adult Cancer Deaths Have Dropped, But Heart Disease Deaths Are Up
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There are good and bad findings in the CDC's latest report on the two leading causes of death for American adults. 

The number of adults dying from cancer in the U.S. has gone down, but deaths from heart disease appear to be on the rise. 

CDC researchers looked at death certificate data from 1999 to 2017 for people ages 45-64. They found that cancer deaths decreased by 19% in that time period. And while heart disease deaths initially dropped 22% until 2011, the rate bounced back 4% by 2017.

Experts say the uptick in cardiovascular disease-related deaths is likely linked to rising obesity rates. That, combined with unhealthy lifestyle choices, are considered some of the main reasons for the diseases' prevalence. 

Because cancer shares some of the same risk factors as heart disease, the study's authors say it's unclear why the death rate trends were different.  

A top American Heart Association official tells CNN that 90% of all heart disease is preventable. Her recommendations for prevention include getting more exercise, avoiding smoking, keeping blood pressure in check and maintaining an ideal weight. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN