OUR ACHING HEARTS

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FYI: The state Department of Health says Valentine’s Day isn’t the only thing breaking New Yorkers’ hearts. Cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of death in the state in 1999. It’s of particular concern for African Americans, who were 30 percent more likely to die prematurely from general heart disease than whites, and 48 percent more likely to die prematurely from a stroke in particular. The DOH report offers wide-ranging data on the primary risk factors for New Yorkers, along with stats on associated health conditions, broken out by race, age, geography, income and more. It also spells out heart disease’s cost to the state: over $6.8 billion in hospitalization costs in 2000, and an estimated $16 billion in total economic burden last year. [2/18/03]