A Statistical Look at Heart Disease During American Heart Month

There is no bad time to think about the health of your heart. After all, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the US year after year. It’s important for people to not only be aware of the prevalence of this terrible disease, but also to understand the factors that can potentially increase their risk of developing a heart condition. In recognition of American Heart Month this February, the healthcare providers at Abraham Family Medicine are happy to provide some statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about heart disease to help keep our patients in the know.

A Statistical Look at Heart Disease During American Heart Month

General Heart Disease Statistics

  • Approximately 610,000 people in the US die from heart disease each year.
  • Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths that occur annually in the US.
  • Roughly 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year.
  • Of these, about 525,000 are a first heart attack.
  • The prevalence and risk of heart disease increases exponentially as a person ages.
  • Heart disease costs the US about $200 billion each year in healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity.

Heart Disease Statistics for Men

  • About 321,000 men die of heart disease every year in the US, making it the leading killer of American men.
  • About 8.5% of all White men, 7.9% of all African American men, and 6.3% of Mexican American men have some form of coronary heart disease.
  • Somewhere between 70% – 89% of all sudden cardiac events occur in men.

Heart Disease Statistics for Women

  • Despite the perception that heart disease is “a man’s disease”, it is also the leading cause of death for women in the US (killing over 289,000 women annually).
  • Roughly 5.8% of all White women, 7.6% of African American women, and 5.6% of Mexican American women have coronary heart disease.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease show no previous symptoms.

Heart Disease Risk Factor Statistics

  • Having high cholesterol nearly doubles a person’s risk of developing heart disease.
  • Over 71 million American adults have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol.
  • High cholesterol has no symptoms, which partially explains why less than half of adults with high cholesterol receive treatment for it.
  • About 75 million adults in the US, or 1 in every 3, have high blood pressure—another leading risk factor for heart disease.
  • Additionally, a person may be more vulnerable to heart disease if they have diabetes, smoke tobacco, are overweight or obese, or do not get regular physical exercise (2 hours and 30 minutes of weekly moderate-intensity exercise is recommended for adults).

With these statistics in mind, our healthcare providers wanted to remind readers that there are meaningful steps they can take to help limit their potential risk of heart disease. Try to maintain a nutritious, balanced diet and get regular weekly exercise to help maintain a healthy body weight. Speak to your doctor about your cholesterol levels and inquire about cholesterol medication if your levels are higher than normal. Do not smoke and try not to drink alcohol in excess. These simple steps can make a significant impact for anyone trying to help prevent heart disease.

We hope you found this informative and helpful. The goal of American Heart Month is to spread awareness of the importance of heart health and help in the nationwide fight against this awful disease. So be mindful of the risk factors we mentioned, try to live a healthy lifestyle, and see your doctor for regular visits to help ensure that your heart is healthy. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Abraham Family Medicine today. We offer a wide variety of general healthcare services for people of all ages at our Snellville office, not far from Grayson.