Released February 23, 2024
February is American Heart Month and new analysis from HPIO shows that early deaths from heart disease among working-age Ohioans (ages 15-64) vary greatly by county.
According to data included in HPIO’s October 2023 data snapshot Updated Death Trends among Working-age Ohioans, heart disease was the third-leading cause of death for working-age Ohioans, accounting for 5,654 deaths in 2022.
Using data from 2021 and 2022, HPIO found the age-adjusted rate of heart disease deaths among working-age Ohioans in each county, as illustrated above. The analysis shows wide geographic disparity in death rates. For example, Mercer County had the highest rate in Ohio, which, at 272.5 deaths per 100,000 population, was more than twice the rate of the lowest county, Noble, which experienced 132.6 deaths per 100,000 population.
According to the CDC, risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, being overweight/obese, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Conditions in the communities in which we live, such as access to healthy food and healthcare services and the availability of high-quality jobs, can influence these risk factors.