Total deaths from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and hypertension — known collectively as cardiometabolic disease — have been increasing since 2011, a new Northwestern Medicine study shows. Cardiometabolic disease is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. While the overall rate of heart disease deaths decreased over time, the rate of decline slowed after 2010, the study found. Deaths from stroke and diabetes declined from 1999 to 2010 but leveled off after that. Deaths from high blood pressure increased between 1999 and 2017.