Heart Disease Statistics: The Silent Killer That Causes 17.9 Mn Deaths Each Year!

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Cardiovascular disease(CVDs) is one of the major causes of death worldwide. Here are some shocking heart disease statistics: around 17.9 Mn people die each year due to heart disease, estimated to be 32% of worldwide deaths.

CVDs are a group of heart disorders and include peripheral arterial disease (PAD), coronary heart disease (CHD), rheumatic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and other such conditions. Four out of five people who have CVDs die due to heart attacks and strokes. 

Heart Disease Statistics

The main factors that lead to heart diseases are being physically inactive, unhealthy diet patterns, tobacco use, and drinking habits. These factors lead to other diseases such as high blood pressure, high blood lipids, overweight, and obesity.

In this article, let us look at the latest statistical data about heart diseases among people.

Key Facts

  • CVDs are the leading cause of death worldwide[1].
  • Around 17.9 Mn deaths were due to CVDs in 2019, estimated to be 32% of deaths in total. 85% of the deaths were due to heart disease and stroke[1].
  • More than three-quarters of the deaths were in low and middle-income countries[1].
  • Around 17 Mn premature deaths occurred among people under the age of 70. 38% of these deaths were due to CVDs, and most of the rest is due to non communicable diseases[1].
  • Reduction in tobacco, alcohol, salt, following a healthy diet, and regular physical activity can help prevent CVDs.
  • A person shouldn’t delay treating any CVDs and start the medications as early as possible.

Heart Disease In The US

  • Heart disease is a significant cause of death among men and women of all races and ethnic groups in the US. In 2015, 23.7% of death among white people and 23.5% of death among black people were due to heart disease[2].
  • In 2017, the death rate among black men in the US was 202.8 deaths (per 100,000 people) and 274.5 deaths among white males (per 100,000 people). Whereas it was 165.5 per 100,000 people among black women and 231.4 per 100,000 among white women[4].
  • As per some studies, around 26% of women will suffer from heart disease and die compared to just 19% of men. In 5 years after a heart attack, 50% of women may die or have heart failure compared to 36% of men[5].
  • In 2018, around 30.3 Mn people in the US were diagnosed with heart disease. Around 647,000 people (one in four) in the US die, leading to a significant cause of death in the United States. One out of four people in the US dies due to heart disease[3].
  • As per CDC, every 40 seconds, an American dies due to a heart attack. 805,000 people in the US have a heart attack every year, and 605,000 people have it for the first time[2].
  • Around one in five attacks are silent, and the person is unaware of it.
  • The total costs related to heart disease in the US were about $363 billion in 2016-2017. The cost includes healthcare services, medicines, and lost productivity[3].
Heart Disease Statistics

Coronary Artery Disease(CAD)

  • In 2019, around 360,900 people died due to coronary heart disease. It is one of the most common heart diseases most people suffer from.
  • Around 18.2 Mn (about 6.7%) of people above the age of 20 suffer from coronary heart disease[3].
  • Around 2 out of 10 people below 65 years die due to CAD[3].

Cardiovascular Disease(CVDs)

CVDs are a leading cause of death in the United States.

  • Around 17 Mn people die due to CVD worldwide. This accounts for one-third of the population globally. And more than one-third of the deaths are among middle-aged people[8].
  • In most developed countries, heart-related diseases are the primary cause of death among adults[8].
  • There has been a significant increase in cardiovascular disease among people in developing countries. 
  • The leading cause of death in the UK is due to CVD. In 2003, it led to around 233,000 deaths. And more than one in three people, around 38%, die due to cardiovascular disease.


  • In 2019, around 2 Mn people died due to cardiovascular disease[9].
  • The CVD death rates reduced from 203.3 deaths (per 100,000) in 2000 to 137.2 deaths(per 100,000) in 2019[9].
  • The age-standardized death rates due to CVD varied across countries. It was the highest in Haiti (428.7 deaths per 100,000) and lower in Peru (73.5 deaths per 100,000)[9].

CVD accounted for:

  • 40.8 Mn DALYS every year[9].
  • 36.4 Mn years of life were lost due to premature deaths[9].
  • 4.5 Mn years lived with some disabilities[9].

The total number of years people live with a disability has been increased in the last two decades. The total number of deaths due to CVD is likely to increase with population growth and aging.

Heart Disease Statistics

Coronary Heart Disease(CHD)

CHD reduces the blood flow through the arteries to the heart muscle, mainly due to the fatty material and plaque that gets built up. This reduced blood flow supply to the heart muscle leads to heart attack, angina, and heart failure.

  • Around 3.8 Mn men and 3.4 Mn women die every year due to coronary heart disease worldwide[8].
  • In Europe, around 1.95 Mn people die each year due to CHD[8].
  • CHD is a common cause of death in the United Kingdom. Around one in five men and one in six women suffer from CHD and die each year. In 2003, around 114,000 people died due to CHD[8].
  • Around 110,000 people die in England every year. Approximately 1.4 Mn people suffer from angina, and 275,000 people suffer from a heart attack every year.

Having even a single risk factor increases the chances of getting heart disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are the primary key factors that lead to heart diseases. Almost half of the adults suffer from one of these risk factors at a certain age.

Let us look at some of the most common risk factors related to heart disease.

  • High Blood Pressure. High BP is one of the significant risk factors that lead to heart diseases.
  • High Cholesterol. Extra cholesterol in the body gets built up in the artery walls and decreases blood flow to the heart.
  • Depression. People with any sign of depression are at more risk (64%) of suffering from coronary artery disease[2].
  • Diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. People with diabetes are four times more likely to suffer from heart disease than people who do not have diabtes[2].
Heart Disease Statistics

Men with type 2 diabetes have four times more chance of developing CHD, whereas women have a three to five times great chance of CHD.

  • Obesity. People who are obese or overweight have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease that includes high cholesterol, BP, and diabetes.

Behaviors that lead to heart diseases include:

  • Unhealthy Diet. People who have an unhealthy diet and have a diet high in sugar, salt, fats, and cholesterol have more chances of developing heart disease. People who have an unhealthy diet have more chance of developing Coronary heart disease. Around 30% of CHD in developing countries is estimated to be due to less consumption( below 600g a day) of fruits and vegetables among people[8].
  • Smoking. Smoking is one of the significant factors that lead to cardiovascular disease. Smoking causes one in four deaths due to heart disease[6]

In Europe, 32% of men aged 35 to 69 years die due to CVD., and 6% of women die of the same age[8].

  • Not Physically Active. Being physically active reduces the risk of heart diseases. But only half of the people in the US are physically active. Thus physical inactivity leads to a significant risk of developing heart disease by 50%[7].

People should be physically active and exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes to stay healthy and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

  • Alcohol Consumption. People who have heavy alcohol consumption are at a greater risk of developing heart attract, heart failure, and other such conditions. Drinking excessively damages the heart before the symptoms even appear.

CVDs: An Issue In Low And Middle Income Countries

  • Around three-quarters of deaths worldwide are due to CVDs in low and middle-income countries[1]. These people do not have any healthcare benefits such as early detection and treatment for risk factors related to CVDs[1].
  • People in low-income countries do not have much access to adequate health care services. As a result, people in these countries have a late detection of diseases and die early due to heart disease or other non-communicable diseases.
  • It affects the poor people more in these countries. At the household level, it is seen that heart diseases and other non-communicable diseases lead to poverty. This is mainly because of the catastrophic health expenditure[1].
Heart Disease Statistics

Cost Of Heart Disease

  • As per CDC, in 2017, the number of emergency visits for heart-related diseases were around 5 Mn[2].
  • In 2016, 72 Mn people consulted doctors for heart-related issues[2].
  • The cost of care related to CVD was approximately $351 billion in a year[2].
  • The total cost related to CVD is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2035[2].

A Few Final Words

Heart disease is a major cause of death among men and women of most ethnic groups in the US. One person dies every 40 seconds in the US due to CVD. It is necessary to identify the risk of CVDs and ensure proper treatment to prevent premature deaths. 

Researching and reading these articles would have shocked me, as I hope they would have shocked you as well! I hope you find this article eye-opening and keep yourself away from heart disease by following a healthy diet and being physically active. 

Do share this information with others to help protect your loved ones with heart-related disease.