Over 400,000 could die from heart disease in 2010

February 1, 2010 1:47:09 PM PST
Heart disease could kill as many as 400,000 Americans in 2010.

Results of a dramatic new study point to the increase in obesity rates.

British scientists at the University of Liverpool used the year 2000 as a base and calculated that number of deaths based on lifestyle trends. Researchers say 200,000 -- or half of those deaths -- could be averted this year if heart risk factors were cut even modestly, in particular if people ate healthier food and quit smoking.

Experts say decades of progress in the US on cutting cholesterol, blood pressure, and smoking are being stalled by rising obesity rates.

Two-thirds of US adults and nearly one-in-three children are overweight or obese, a condition that could increase risk of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

The study appears in the World Health Organization's weekly journal.