Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans are increasingly dying of heart disease and strokes as they hit middle age — and the trend is happening across the country, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of mortality rates.

Why it matters: It suggests "that the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease are universal and difficult to address," the Journal found.

  • While the South has traditionally seen higher rates of deaths from cardiovascular disease, the spike is occurring in some of the healthiest places in the country — even outdoorsy Colorado.
  • Three metro areas in the state saw their cardiovascular death rates spike 25% from 2010–11 to 2015–16 despite "robust access to exercise and health care."
  • "Like much of America, the region is undergoing changes that foster more stress and sedentary lifestyles."

By the numbers: 18% of American kids and roughly 40% of adults are now obese, according to CDC data released last year.

  • More obese children means there will be more adults with chronic conditions like diabetes — which can’t be cured, only managed — and these diseases increase the risk of further complications, per Axios' Sam Baker.

The bottom line, via Axios' Caitlin Owens: Our health care system incentivizes caring for sick people, not keeping people healthy.

Go deeper: The urban-rural health divide is costing lives

Go deeper

More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 32 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tens of millions of jobless Americans will soon have a smaller cash cushion — as coronavirus cases surge and certain parts of the country re-enter pandemic lockdowns — barring an extension of the more generous unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.

55 mins ago - Sports

Alumni fight to save college sports

Data: Mat Talk Online; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

242 collegiate athletic programs have been cut amid the pandemic, altering the careers and lives of thousands of student-athletes.

Yes, but: Some passionate alumni groups have opted to fight, banding together in hopes of saving the programs they helped build and continue to love.

1 hour ago - World

The U.S.-China trade war quietly escalates

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images and Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Lost amid headlines about the coronavirus pandemic and the seemingly unstoppable stock market rally, has been the monthslong escalation of tensions in the U.S.-China trade war —  and it's likely here to stay.

Why it matters: The tariffs continue to impress a sizable tax on U.S. companies and consumers, adding additional costs and red tape for small businesses, farmers, manufacturers and households trying to stay afloat amid the pandemic.