The Importance of Cardiorespiratory Fitness in the United States: The Need for a National Registry

AHA: January 7, 2013

The recent 2012 update of the Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA) emphasizes the continuing burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the United States, with a prevalence of CVD nearing 40% in those approaching 60 years of age and exceeding 70% in older ages.1 Direct and indirect costs of CVD in the United States exceeded $300 billion in 2008, and the projected total costs of CVD in 2015 and 2030 are more than $500 billion and nearly $1200 billion, respectively.2 Recently, the AHA developed year 2020 impact goals to achieve ideal cardiovascular health, which is influenced greatly by key health behaviors of being physically active, maintaining appropriate dietary habits, and not smoking.3 The obesity epidemic in the United States has been a substantial contributor to the CVD burden, with current estimates of obesity prevalence being ≈20% in US children and adolescents and >33% in adults 20 to 74 years of age.  Read more