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Health Topics – Heart Disease and Heart Attack

Heart Disease costs the United States about $219 billion each year


Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. About 660,000 people in the U.S. die from heart disease every year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths and on average 1 person every 40 seconds. Heart disease is the term used for several types of problems affecting the heart. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which affects the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow can cause a heart attack. Every year, 805,000 people in the U.S. have a heart attack

There were 659,041 deaths from heart disease in 2019.

Economic Burden

Heart disease costs the United States about $219 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and premature death.

Risk Factors

The three key risk factors for heart disease are:

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High Blood Pressure


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

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Being overweight and having obesity

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Poor diet

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Physical inactivity

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Excessive alcohol use

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Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) helps low-income women ages 40 to 64 with little or no health insurance understand and reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. WISEWOMAN offers heart disease and stroke risk factor screening and referrals to evidence-based lifestyle programs, individual health coaching, and/or referrals to community resources. The services provided by each WISEWOMAN program vary, but all are designed to promote lifelong heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

CDC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke State Programs

CDC supports efforts to address the serious national health problems of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.  With CDC support, health departments are developing new approaches to increase the reach and effectiveness of evidence-based public health strategies in populations and communities with a high burden of diabetes, or heart disease and stroke.

2020 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension (Call to Action) seeks to avert the negative health effects of hypertension by identifying evidence-based interventions that can be implemented, adapted, and expanded in diverse settings across the United States. The report contains are a number of guides for sector guides that describe what various stakeholders can do control hypertension.

Featured Resources

Million Hearts® 2022

Million Hearts® 2022 is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes within 5 years. It focuses on implementing a small set of evidence-based priorities and targets that can improve cardiovascular health for all. The webpage includes a place to find partnership opportunities, tool kits and action guides to align individual or organizational activities with the Million Hearts® evidence-based strategies most suited to your expertise, interests, and resources.

Featured Tools

Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke

CDC’s Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke is an online mapping tool that allows users to create and customize state-level and county-level maps of heart disease and stroke by race and ethnicity, gender, age group, and more.

Heart Disease and Stroke Map Widget

This web tool allows state and local health departments and other organizations to add state- and county-level maps of heart disease and stroke to their websites. The maps are automatically updated by CDC and require no technical maintenance after they are added.