Heart disease and stroke are among the most widespread and costly health problems in North Carolina today. Cardiovascular diseases, which include heart disease and stroke, account for 31 percent of all deaths in North Carolina. Just as staggering are the health care costs of cardiovascular disease in the state. Data provided by “The Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in North Carolina—July 2010 Update” show that total hospital charges for CVD in North Carolina currently exceed $4.6 billion annually. State health experts are suggesting four simple steps, the ABCS, that individuals can take to address the leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease and control rising health care costs.