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Deaths From Heart Disease Rise In Volusia County As State Averages Drop

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Volusia County's death rates from heart disease have climbed during the last five years.

While death rates from heart disease declined in Florida during the last five years, Volusia County saw a 9 percent increase in deaths.

The report from the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County looks at different zip codes in Volusia, comparing them to the state. The findings include:

  • Volusia’s 2014 age-adjusted death rate of 181.6 deaths per 100,000 population is a 9.2 percent increase from 2010. Florida’s death rate dropped slightly in the same time, from 158.3 deaths per 100,000 people to 154.7.
  • The Osteen area, or 32764 area code, had the highest death rate in the county at 350.4 deaths for every 100,000 people. That’s more than twice the state average. Daytona Beach and Seville also had high death rates.
  • Emergency room visits for heart disease are also up, which is in line with state trends. Hospitalizations are down, which is also true statewide.

Thomas Bryant III, director of the Office of Informatics and Assessment for the Volusia County health department, said they do the analysis to know where the county should focus prevention efforts.
“So again, it forces us to look at our populations we serve and say OK, what’s going on,” Bryant said. “Why these groups? Why this area?”

The main risk factors for heart diseases are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. The county will also look at environmental triggers, like access to a healthy diet.

There are also racial disparities in the figures. Hispanic residents in Volusia County had the lowest death rates from heart disease.

“When we look at all the quadrants, African Americans tend to be higher – with the exception of the southwest quadrant, where the numbers are much lower than the state and lower than most other racial and ethnic groups in that quadrant,” Bryant said.

Check here for other reports from Volusia County.

Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFEin Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.