Heart Disease Facts

What to know

Learn facts about how race, ethnicity, age, and other risk factors can contribute to heart disease risk. It’s important for everyone to know the facts about heart disease.

Heart disease in the United States

In the United States:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups.1
  • One person dies every 33 seconds from cardiovascular disease.1
  • About 695,000 people died from heart disease in 2021—that's 1 in every 5 deaths.12
  • Heart disease costs about $239.9 billion each year from 2018 to 2019.3 This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.
Map illustrating heart disease death rates by county in the United States from 2018–2020 for adults ages 35+.
Heart Disease Death Rates, 2018–2020 for Adults, Ages 35+, by County.

Coronary artery disease (CAD)

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 375,476 people in 2021.2
  • About 1 in 20 adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 5%).2
  • In 2021, about 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happened in adults less than 65 years old.1

Heart attack

  • In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.2
  • Every year, about 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack.2 Of these,
    • 605,000 are a first heart attack.2
    • 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack.2
  • About 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.2

Did you know?‎

Early action is important for heart attack. Know the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Illustration of plaque in the arteries.
As plaque builds up in the arteries of a person with heart disease, the inside of the arteries begins to narrow, which lessens or blocks the flow of blood.

Who is affected

Heart disease deaths vary by sex, race, and ethnicity

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. These include African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, and White men. For women from the Pacific Islands and Asian American, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Hispanic women, heart disease is second only to cancer.1

Below are the percentages of all deaths caused by heart disease in 2021, listed by ethnicity, race, and sex.

Race or Ethnic Group

% of Deaths

American Indian or Alaska Native




Black (Non-Hispanic)


Native Hawaiin or Other Pacific Islander


White (Non-Hispanic)






Americans at risk for heart disease

High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease.

Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:

What CDC is doing

  1. National Center for Health Statistics. Multiple Cause of Death 2018–2021 on CDC WONDER Database. Accessed February 2, 2023. https://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd.html
  2. Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2023 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2023;147:e93–e621.
  3. National Center for Health Statistics. Percentage of coronary heart disease for adults aged 18 and over, United States, 2019—2021. National Health Interview Survey. Accessed February 17, 2023. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/NHISDataQueryTool/SHS_adult/index.html