The Florida Department of Health recently released 2012 vital statistics for Hernando County, which show heart diseases as being the No. 1 cause of death in the county.
There were a total of 546 cases last year with 460 of those occurring between the ages of 65 and 85 and older, according to health department data.
One of the most common causes of heart disease-related death is coronary artery disease, which occurs when plaque, or cholesterol deposits, build up in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When plaque accumulates in one’s arteries, they can narrow over time and restrict blood flow to the heart in a process called, atherosclerosis.
If a plaque deposit breaks off and clots a coronary artery, this restricts blood flow to the heart, resulting in heart attack: and for some, a heart attack is the first sign of coronary artery disease.
Plaque buildup can cause angina — the most common symptom — causing chest pain or discomfort because the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood. Over time, this can weaken the heart muscle, leading to heart failure or an irregular heartbeat, called arrhythmia, according to the CDC.
Cancer claimed nearly as many lives as heart diseases did in Hernando County last year with 532 total cases. However, deaths attributed to cancer occurred earlier in life than those of heart disease. For example, while 93 people aged 65-74 died of heart disease, 154 people in this same age group died of cancer, according to most recent data.
Of the total 532 cancer deaths in Hernando County in 2012, 406 of those were between the ages of 55 and 84.
Other noteworthy statistics include Hernando County’s marriage and divorce rate for 2012. There were 905 marriages last year. There were several popular months for marriage in Hernando County, with 101 occurring in October, 98 in December, 92 in April, and 90 in March. According to the report, March was the statewide most popular month for marriage.
There also were 591 divorces last year in Hernando County, with 338 of them involving no children, 102 involving one child, 83 involving two children, 30 involving three children, nine involving four children, and one involving five children.