Heart Disease Facts
Learn more about heart disease and its risk factors. It’s important for everyone to know the facts about heart disease pdf icon[PDF-243K].
Heart Disease in the United States
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.1
- One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.1
- About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.2
- Heart disease costs the United States about $219 billion each year from 2014 to 2015.3 This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.
Coronary Artery Disease
- Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 365,914 people in 2017.4
- About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 6.7%).3
- About 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happen in adults less than 65 years old.4
- In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.3
- Every year, about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack.3 Of these,
- 605,000 are a first heart attack3
- 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack3
- About 1 in 5 heart attacks is silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.3
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, including 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.5
Below are the percentages of all deaths caused by heart disease in 2015, listed by ethnicity, race, and sex.5
|Race of Ethnic Group||% of Deaths||Men, %||Women, %|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||18.3||19.4||17.0|
|Asian American or Pacific Islander||21.4||22.9||19.9|
Americans at Risk for Heart Disease
Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
CDC Public Health Efforts Related to Heart Disease
- State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Chronic Diseases
- Million Hearts®external icon
- CDC: Heart Disease Communications Kit
- American Heart Associationexternal icon
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Instituteexternal icon
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Underlying Cause of Death, 1999–2018. CDC WONDER Online Database. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2018. Accessed March 12, 2020.
- Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Associationexternal icon. Circulation. 2020;141(9):e139–e596.
- Fryar CD, Chen T-C, Li X. Prevalence of uncontrolled risk factors for cardiovascular disease: United States, 1999–2010 pdf icon[PDF-494K]. NCHS data brief, no. 103. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2012. Accessed May 9, 2019.
- Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2019 update: a report from the American Heart Associationexternal icon. Circulation. 2019;139(10):e56–528.
- Heron, M. Deaths: Leading causes for 2017pdf icon. National Vital Statistics Reports;68(6). Accessed November 19, 2019.