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Baby boomers' worries might be misguided--top killer is heart disease, not cancer and Alzheimer's

July 19, 2011|By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Baby boomers worry most about cancer and memory loss, according to a new survey, but heart disease is actually the number one killer.
Baby boomers worry most about cancer and memory loss, according to a new… (AFP Photo / Tim Sloan )

Baby boomers—time for a health reality check. A new poll finds the generation worries most about cancer and memory loss. But heart disease, often tied to obesity, is actually the age group’s major killer. 

A new survey that included 1,078 baby boomers found that 44% worry most about cancer, 20% about memory loss, 13% about heart disease, and 5% about blood diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

But here are the actual top killers in the U.S., according to the National Center for Health Statistics:

-Heart disease (616,067 deaths)

-Cancer (562,875 deaths)

-Stroke (135,952 deaths)

-Chronic lower respiratory diseases (127,924 deaths) 

Unintentional injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and influenza and pneumonia round out the list (the most recent data, which are still preliminary, show a smaller gap between heart disease and cancer deaths).

The advice to prevent heart disease hasn’t changed much. Eating healthy and exercising, not smoking and only drinking in moderation are still the go-to preventive measures—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more here 

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