Heart Disease Facts

Heart Disease in the United States

  • About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men
  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually
  • Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attach. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack
  • In a 2005 survey, most respondents—92%—recognized chest pain as a symptom of a heart attack. Only 27% were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a heart attack
  • About 47% of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside a hospital. This suggests that many people with heart disease don’t act on early warning signs

Heart attacks have several major warning signs and symptoms:

  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

Americans at Risk for Heart Disease

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.7

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

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use
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READ  Heart Disease Prevention

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