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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

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.

Biden says $1,400 stimulus payments can start going out this month

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month.

Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.

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