Health Care

Interactive: Which states have the unhealthiest hearts?

By Melanie Lashbrook

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Heart disease is no stranger to the American public, as it has remained the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. for decades. According to the American Heart Association, about 2,150 Americans die each day from heart disease, totaling an alarming one death every 40 seconds. Heart disease is influenced by many factors, including diet, smoking, exercise, stress and weight. States with the poorest heart heath also have a reputation for poor nutritional choices, higher rates of smoking and lack of physical activity.

In 2008, the Framingham Heart Study introduced the concept of "heart age". Heart age is the calculated age of a person's heart based on their habits and medical history. For example, a 50-year-old man who is overweight and has a high-stress job will have an older heart than a 50-year-old man who exercises regularly and has a balanced diet. Comparing the age of a person's heart to their actual age is a novel way for doctors to figure out how likely someone is to develop heart disease. The CDC recently released a report on where in the United States people have hearts that are older than they are.

Using data from the CDC on excess heart age, smoking rates, and obesity prevalence, HealthGrove figured out which states have the least healthy hearts. Excess heart age is defined as the percentage of men and women who have hearts that are five or more years older than they are.

#20. Rhode Island

Men With Poor Heart Health: 50.1%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 37.3%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 17.4%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 27.3%

#19. Maine

Men With Poor Heart Health: 50.5%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 37.2%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 20.2%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 28.9%

#18. Kansas

Men With Poor Heart Health: 50.6%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 39.1%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 20%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 30%

#17. North Dakota

Men With Poor Heart Health: 51%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 36.8%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 21.2%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 31%

#16. Illinois

Men With Poor Heart Health: 51.4%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 38.8%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 18%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 29.4%

#15. North Carolina

Men With Poor Heart Health: 52.5%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 42.9%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 20.3%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 29.4%

#14. Missouri

Men With Poor Heart Health: 52.8%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 43%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 22.1%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 30.4%

#13. Ohio

Men With Poor Heart Health: 53.5%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 41.5%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 23.4%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 30.4%

#12. Delaware

Men With Poor Heart Health: 53.8%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 42.1%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 19.6%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 31.1%

#11. Michigan

Men With Poor Heart Health: 54.3%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 39.5%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 21.4%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 31.5%

#10. Indiana

Men With Poor Heart Health: 54.8%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 43%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 21.9%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 31.8%

#9. Oklahoma

Men With Poor Heart Health: 56.3%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 46.1%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 23.7%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 32.5%

#8. South Carolina

Men With Poor Heart Health: 56.9%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 46.8%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 22%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 31.7%

#7. Arkansas

Men With Poor Heart Health: 57%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 49%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 25.9%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 34.6%

#6. Tennessee

Men With Poor Heart Health: 57.8%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 47.5%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 24.3%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 33.7%

#5. Alabama

Men With Poor Heart Health: 59%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 48.9%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 21.5%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 32.4%

#4. Louisiana

Men With Poor Heart Health: 60.1%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 50.2%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 23.5%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 33.1%

#3. Kentucky

Men With Poor Heart Health: 60.8%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 48.3%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 26.5%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 33.2%

#2. West Virginia

Men With Poor Heart Health: 60.9%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 49.2%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 27.3%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 35.1%

#1. Mississippi

Men With Poor Heart Health: 61%

Women With Poor Heart Health: 52.1%

Tobacco Smoking Rate in Adults: 24.8%

Obesity Rate in Adults: 35.1%

States With the Unhealthiest Hearts

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