Know the Facts about Cardiovascular Disease

Oct 1, 2019

You may think that heart disease happens to other people, but heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. In fact, one in three deaths in the United States can be attributed to heart disease, killing roughly the same number of Americans each year as cancer, lower respiratory disease (including pneumonia) and accidents combined.

Fast Facts:

Cardiovascular disease includes athrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), coronary artery disease, heart attack, angina, stroke, heart valve disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

The main risk factors for heart disease include inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes. Making lifestyle changes to alter these risk factors can reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • Ninety percent of heart disease patients have at least one risk factor.
  • Heart disease and stroke are two of the most costly health problems the United States is faced with, costing the nation nearly $445 billion a year.
  • A heart attack occurs every 34 seconds in the U.S., and a stroke occurs every 40 seconds.
  • Although American Indians/Alaskan Natives, African Americans and older adults have the highest risk for heart disease and stroke, people of all ages and ethnicities are at risk.
  • One in five of those who die from heart disease is under the age of 65. 
  • Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease.
  • Over 69 percent of those who have a first heart attack, stroke or congestive heart failure have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg.
  • Heart disease is a global epidemic, accounting for 30 percent of deaths worldwide.
  • About one in four women will die within one year of a first heart attack; the same is true for nearly one in five men.
  • One in every three adults and almost one in five youth between the ages of 6 and 19 are obese.
  • More than 43 million American adults smoke.
  • Controlling your blood pressure can greatly reduce your risk of stroke.
  • African-Americans have twice the risk of having a first stroke than whites do.
  • Living an active lifestyle can reduce your risk of stroke by almost 40 percent.
  • One in three adults has high blood pressure. Many are unaware of their condition.

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