Heart Disease: Facts & Figures
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
- About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths
- Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 190,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.
Risk Factor: Ethnicity
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. For American Indians or Alaska Natives and Asians or Pacific Islanders, heart disease is second only to cancer.
Risk Factor: Geography
During 2007–2009, death rates due to heart disease were highest in the South and lowest in the West.
Warning Signs & Symptoms
Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack is key to preventing death, but many people don’t know the signs.
- 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.