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Cardiovascular disease in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Cardiovascular disease includes diseases of the heart and blood vessel circulation. Included in this class of diseases are heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, myocardial infarction and stroke. Ischemic heart disease and stroke were the leading causes of death worldwide in 2019, killing some 8.9 and 6.2 million people, respectively.

Heart disease deaths in the United States

Heart disease was similarly the leading cause of death in the United States in 2019, however, the death rate from heart disease in the U.S. has decreased steadily since the 1950s, with 164 deaths per 100,000 population in 2018. In that same year, coronary heart disease accounted for around 42 percent of all cardiovascular deaths. Death from heart disease disproportionately affects older people and regional differences are clear in the United States, with 8 of the 10 states with the highest death rates from heart disease found in the South.

What are the costs of cardiovascular disease?

The costs of cardiovascular disease to the United States are difficult to measure, but inarguably great. It was estimated that from 2016 to 2017, indirect costs from such disease, including lost productivity and mortality, reached around 147 billion U.S. dollars. Furthermore, the costs of various types of cardiovascular disease are expected to increase in the coming years. The cost of coronary heart disease, for example, is estimated to rise from 190 billion dollars in 2015 to around 365 billion in 2035.

Hypertension and cardiovascular disease

A common and preventable cause of some cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart failure, is high blood pressure or hypertension. From 2015 to 2018, it was estimated that around 51 percent of males and 40 percent of females had hypertension. Hypertension and cardiovascular disease are preventable through a healthy diet and exercise and avoiding risk factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol. A person’s chance of developing coronary heart disease and stroke are increased four times by smoking tobacco.

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