China is facing an epidemic of heart disease brought on by a shift toward the Western lifestyle, the South China Morning Post reports. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology is based on the first large study of its kind to analyze a range of risk factors in China over multiple decades, studying 26,000 people from 1991-2011. High blood pressure in China has risen from 7.7% of the population in 1979 to 33.5% in 2010, on par with levels seen in the United States. Of 6.8 million Chinese over age 35 who died in 2011, about three million of those deaths, or 44%, were related to cardiovascular disease. Smoking and lack of exercise were also linked to rising heart disease.
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