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Heart disease roars back

A heart attack
Photo: RobinOlimb/Getty Images

Progress against heart disease has stalled, driving down life expectancy in the U.S. after decades in which each generation lived longer than the one that came before, The Wall Street Journal's Betsy McKay reports (subscription).

Why it matters, per WSJ: Cancer was set to take over as the nation's leading cause of death, and it was expected to do so by 2020. But now, heart disease is an "under-recognized contributor" to the decline in U.S. life expectancy.

What they're saying:

  • "[T]he death rate is actually rising for middle-aged Americans."
  • You can guess why: "The obesity epidemic and related rise in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes are key culprits in the new wave of cardiovascular disease."

Go deeper... Chart: The mortality rate ranking for each state, by disease