Heart Facts

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  • Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease. Plaque buildup thickens and stiffens artery walls, which can inhibit blood flow through your arteries to your organs and tissues. It can be caused by correctable problems, such as an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking.
  • 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.(1)
  • About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.(1)
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.(1)
  • Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.(3
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  • Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are present at birth. They include abnormalities in the heart’s structure, electrical system and other abnormalities that affect the function of the heart. (1)
  • Nearly 1 in 100 babies are born with a heart defect in the United States each year. (2)
  • In the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD. (4)
  • The cost for inpatient surgery to repair congenital heart defects exceeds $1.9 billion a year. (1))

References

  1.  CDC, NCHS. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2013 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2015. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2013, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed Feb. 3, 2015.

  2.  CHPHC

  3.  Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;131:e29-322.

  4.  American Heart Association

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