Heart of the Matter

Heart of the Matter

Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Heart disease is a blanket term that applies to any disease affecting the heart. The most common form is Coronary Artery Disease, which refers to a build up of plaque inside arterial walls. Heart Disease occurs over time for some, while others are born with a heart condition. Someone in the United States dies from Heart Disease about once every 39 seconds. Heart Disease can be caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes.

Heart Disease in the Construction Industry

Adults in the construction industry have a slightly higher prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease compared to all industries. The prevalence of obesity among U.S. workers, measured by body mass index, jumped from 21% in 2000 to 30% in 2015.  The percentage among construction workers fluctuated, but increased generally during this period, reaching 34% in 2015. Among construction workers aged 35-54 years, 79% were either overweight or obese, compared to 69% of workers in all industries in the same age group. In 2015, nearly 24% of workers in the construction industry were current smokers, compared to about 15% of workers in all industries. Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and quitting smoking can cut your risk in half within a year. Hypertension is also a heart disease risk factor. In 2015, 32% of construction workers had been diagnosed with hypertension, and 9% had a heart condition. Among construction workers aged 55 years and over, 53% had hypertension and 16% had a heart condition. Construction workers with Heart Disease are 60% more likely to retire on disability than other construction workers.

To read more on heart disease & how to keep your heart healthy visit the American Heart Association website.