Heart Disease Statistics: How Prevalent is Heart Disease?

Heart Disease Statistics

In the United States, heart disease stands as an alarming health concern, claiming the lives of approximately 647,000 Americans annually. This staggering statistic positions heart disease as the foremost cause of mortality across the nation. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals a disconcerting reality, highlighting that, on average, an American experiences a heart attack every 40 seconds.

Key Heart Disease Statistics

  1. Approximately 12% of individuals who experience a heart attack will pass away.
  2. Coronary artery disease, characterized by arterial blockages supplying blood to the heart, stands out as the most prevalent form of heart disease
  3. Coronary artery disease affects around 18.2 million Americans aged 20 and older, and claimed the lives of nearly 366,000 individuals in 2017.
  4. Heart disease emerges as the primary cause of death across diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  5. In 2015, heart disease accounted for 23.7 percent of deaths in white individuals and 23.5 percent in Black individuals, emphasizing its widespread influence.
  6. In 2017, heart disease-related deaths per 100,000 people were 202.8 for black males, contrasting with 274.5 for white males. 
  7. Similarly, black women experienced 165.5 deaths per 100,000, while the figure was 231.4 for white women.
  8. Heart disease stands as the leading cause of death for both men and women
  9. Data from the American Heart Association reveals that 26% of women die within one year of a heart attack, compared to 19% of men.
  10. Over a five-year period post-heart attack, almost 50% of women face mortality, heart failure, or stroke, surpassing the 36% observed in men. 
Heart Disease Statistics

Financial Costs of Heart Disease

Financial Strain on Healthcare Resources: 

  1. The extensive treatment regimen for cardiovascular diseases translates into an annual cost exceeding $351 billion.
  2. This substantial financial commitment includes approximately $214 billion designated for the direct care of individuals with heart disease, and an additional $137 billion attributed to lost productivity.

The Price Tag of a Heart Attack:

  1. The annual cost of caring for heart attack patients is estimated to be a staggering $11.5 billion, underscoring the acute economic impact of this cardiovascular event.
  2. Within the spectrum of medical conditions, a heart attack stands out as one of the most financially demanding issues addressed by U.S. hospitals.

Future Projections: 

  1. Projections into the future paint a concerning picture, with over 45 percent of Americans anticipated to suffer with some form of cardiovascular disease by 2035. 
  2. The economic ramifications are equally daunting, as the total costs associated with cardiovascular disease are projected to skyrocket to $1.1 trillion in the same year. 
  3. Of this astronomical figure, direct medical costs are estimated to reach $748.7 billion, while indirect costs, such as lost productivity, are anticipated to climb to $368 billion.
Heart Disease by States

States With The Highest Heart Disease Mortality

Heart disease remains a significant public health concern in the United States, with certain regions experiencing alarmingly high mortality rates. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the states struggling with the most severe heart disease mortality rates are as follows:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Alabama
  3. Mississippi
  4. Arkansas
  5. Louisiana
  6. Tennessee
  7. Kentucky
  8. West Virginia
  9. Michigan

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Statistics

In the realm of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), recent data from 2021 in the United States sheds light on the critical aspects of this life-threatening condition. 

  1. A substantial 73.4% of adult Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA) transpire within the familiar confines of a home or residence.
  2. Public settings account for 16.3%, while nursing homes constitute 10.3% of adult OHCA occurrences.
  3. For all Emergency Medical Services, a mere 9.1% culminate in survival to hospital discharge.
  4. Bystander-witnessed adult arrests exhibit a comparatively higher survival rate, standing at 13.3% upon reaching hospital discharge. 
  5. Emergency 9-1-1 responder-witnessed arrests surpass even that, boasting a 15.9% survival to hospital discharge.
Heart Disease Statistics by Risk Factor

Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Risk Factors

The American Heart Association (AHA) assesses the nation’s cardiovascular health by monitoring key factors and behaviors that elevate the risk of heart disease and stroke. Here are essential insights into these risk factors:


  1. In 2020, an alarming 8.09 million deaths were attributed to tobacco use globally. 
  2. In the United States, smoking ranked as the primary risk factor for premature mortality, with around 480,000 Americans succumbing to cigarette-related illnesses annually.
  3. Secondhand smoke exposure increases the risk of total mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke by 18%, 23%, 23%, and 29%, respectively.


  1. Notably, dietary risks contribute to an estimated 7.9 million deaths globally, with high sodium intake, low legume intake and low whole grain intake, identified as leading risk factors of heart disease.
  2. The American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8 scoring metric highlights concerning trends, with diet scoring as one of the lowest metrics across demographic groups. 
Heart Disease by Factors: Sleep and Cholesterol

Physical Inactivity

  1. In 2018, only 24.0% of US adults met the Physical Activity Guidelines, emphasizing the need for increased physical engagement. 
  2. Only  44% of high school students were physically active for at least 60 minutes on five or more days per week in 2019.


  1. The prevalence of obesity in the United States has surged, reaching 43.0% in males and 41.9% in females by 2018. 
  2. Alarming trends are observed in children and adolescents, with overweight and obesity affecting 36.8% of US children aged 2 to 19 in 2017 to 2020.


  1. Diabetes remains a significant health challenge, with 10.6% of US adults diagnosed and an additional 46.4% exhibiting prediabetic conditions. 
  2. In 2020, 102,188 deaths in the US and 1.64 million deaths globally were attributed to diabetes.


  1. Cholesterol levels are indicative of cardiovascular health. In the US, 34.7% of adults had total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or higher. 
  2. Globally, high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol contributed to 4.51 million deaths in 2020, reflecting a 19% increase from 2010.


  1. Insufficient sleep is prevalent, with 32.8% of US adults reporting less than 7 hours of sleep. 
  2. Sleep-related issues affect 24.3% of adults, highlighting the need for better sleep hygiene.

High Blood Pressure 

  1. Hypertension affects 46.7% of US adults, leading to 119,997 deaths in 2020. The age-adjusted death rate due to HBP stands at 29.1 per 100,000.

Understanding these risk factors is crucial for individuals, healthcare professionals, and policymakers in devising effective strategies to promote cardiovascular health and reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke on a global scale.


What is the prevalence of heart disease?

The prevalence of heart disease has shown a positive trend. In 2009, 8.3% of men and 4.6% of women reported having heart disease, while in 2018, these figures decreased to 7.2% for men and 4.1% for women. In 2019, 7.0% of men and 4.2% of women reported being affected by heart disease.

Who is most susceptible to heart disease?

Men above the age of 45 and women post-menopause face the highest risk of experiencing a heart event. Additionally, having a family history of heart disease increases the risk, emphasizing the importance of awareness even for factors beyond our immediate control.

Can heart disease be cured?

While coronary heart disease cannot be completely cured, effective treatments exist to manage symptoms and minimize the risk of complications such as heart attacks. Treatment strategies encompass lifestyle modifications like regular exercise and smoking cessation, as well as the use of medications tailored to individual needs. Integrating these approaches can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with heart disease.


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