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Gallup and Healthways Release New Data Ranking 190 U.S. Communities by Residents’ Lifetime Incidence of Heart Attack

New Research Finds Relationship Between Heart Disease and Key Productivity, Health and Well-Being Outcomes

WASHINGTON & NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 25, 2016) — Global well-being improvement leader, Healthways, a Sharecare company, and world-leading analytics and advice firm Gallup, have released a new study comparing 190 communities nationwide on the percentage of residents who have experienced a heart attack in their lifetime. The research provides community-by-community rates of other chronic illnesses often associated with heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and depression. This research – part of the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series – also examines the effect of heart disease on various aspects of residents’ well-being and on important health and productivity outcomes.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index®, in 2015, 3.9% of U.S. adults previously experienced a heart attack. data also show wide variation among communities across the country, ranging from under 2% incidence of heart attack for the top-ranked communities to nearly 9% for the bottom-ranked community.

Boulder, Colorado, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, top the rankings as the communities with the lowest self-reported incidence of heart attack in the U.S., each with 1.3%. Both communities have consistently demonstrated high well-being as well as low incidence of other chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index since 2008.

Tallahassee, Florida; Provo, Utah; Austin, Texas; and San Jose, California, follow closely behind, with residents of each reporting less than 2% incidence of heart attack. Notably, communities in California account for three out of the top 10, with San Jose, Visalia and San Luis Obispo respectively attaining the sixth, seventh and eighth spots in the rankings. Charleston, West Virginia; Daytona Beach, Florida; Duluth, Minnesota; and Huntington, West Virginia, place at the bottom of the rankings, each with more than 7.5% of their residents reporting that they have had a heart attack in their lifetime.

Gallup-Healthways research confirms that heart problems have a significant effect on workplace productivity and health outcomes. After controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, education, region, and marital status, key findings include:

  • Those diagnosed with heart problems in the past 12 months report that they missed almost three times as many workdays over a four-week period than did those without heart problems. They are also more likely to say that poor physical or mental health has kept them from their usual activities.
  • Nearly half of Americans who have had a heart attack say they have had trouble concentrating at work due to their health or physical condition, and among those whose heart problems were diagnosed more than a year ago, close to a third have trouble concentrating at work due to depression or anxiety.
  • Those with recent heart problems had 4.5 times more hospital admissions and nearly three times more emergency room visits in the past year than those without heart problems.
  • Those diagnosed with heart problems lag behind those without heart problems in both purpose and physical well-being, and they are more likely to worry about money.
  • Americans who have been diagnosed with heart problems may not be making healthy lifestyle changes that could prevent or reverse heart disease. Even though many Americans know that unhealthy eating and inactivity contribute to heart disease, Gallup-Healthways data show that rates of fresh produce consumption and exercise for those diagnosed with heart problems lag behind those of people without heart problems.

“These data clearly show that having heart disease significantly impacts the quality of life, not just the length of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way – at least 95% of heart disease is preventable,” said Dean Ornish, the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Ornish Lifestyle Medicine at Healthways. “When individuals make comprehensive lifestyle changes – eat well, stress less, move more, love more – they are able to prevent and even reverse their condition.”

For more information and to access the complete State of American Well-Being: 2015 Community Rankings for Incidence of Heart Attack report, visit

About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

In 2008, Gallup and Healthways initiated a 25-year partnership merging decades of clinical research and development expertise, health leadership and behavioral economics research to track and understand the key factors that drive well-being. Together, the partnership has built the world’s largest data set on well-being, with over 2.5 million surveys to date of people and their perceptions of their well-being.

Launched that same year, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® provides unmatched, in-depth insight into the well-being of populations. Gallup conducts 500 telephone interviews a day with Americans to gather their perceptions of well-being for a resulting sample that projects to an estimated 95 percent of all U.S. adults.

About Gallup

Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.

About Healthways

Healthways, a Sharecare company, is a global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. Learn more at