Heart disease refers to a variety of conditions that affect the heart — from infections to genetic defects and blood-vessel diseases.
Most heart disease can be prevented with healthy lifestyle choices, yet it’s still the number one health threat in the world.
See the numbers behind this condition, learn the risk factors, and find out how to prevent heart disease.
Heart disease is responsible for most deaths worldwide for both men and women of all races.
As of 2018,
According to the
Coronary artery disease, a blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, is the most common type of heart disease. Coronary heart disease affects about
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups. In 2015, it was responsible for
In 2017, death rates from heart disease in Black men were
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Women are just as likely as men to have a heart attack.
Not as many men die from heart disease each year as women. According to the
By 5 years after a heart attack, almost 50 percent of women die, develop heart failure, or have a stroke compared with 36 percent of men.
Why is this? It’s possibly because their doctors misdiagnosed their condition. Or women may ignore or misinterpret their heart attack signs, which include:
- chest pain or discomfort
- upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, neck, or upper stomach
- lightheadedness or cold sweats
Women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly:
- shortness of breath
- nausea or vomiting
- back or jaw pain
The South has some of the highest cardiovascular death rates in the United States.
As reported by the
- West Virginia
Having even one risk factor increases your odds of getting heart disease. About
These are some of the more common heart disease risks:
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- High cholesterol. Extra cholesterol can build up on artery walls and reduce blood flow to the heart.
- Diabetes. Adults with diabetes are
two to four timesmore likely to die from heart disease as people who don’t have it.
- Depression. Adults with a depressive disorder or symptoms of depression have a
64 percentgreater risk of developing coronary artery disease.
- Obesity. Being overweight or obese is linked to several factors that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
Certain behaviors also put you at risk for heart disease. These include:
- Smoking. Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and causes approximately
1 in 4heart disease deaths.
- Eating a poor diet. A diet that’s high in fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
- Not exercising. Even though exercise reduces the risk for heart disease and early death, only about half of Americans get the recommended amount of aerobic activity.
- Drinking alcohol excessively. Heavy alcohol use can increase the risk for heart attack, heart failure, and death. Excess drinking can damage the heart before symptoms even appear.
The good news is that heart disease is preventable. Controlling these risk factors can reduce a person’s risk for a heart attack and stroke by more than 80 percent.
Follow these six simple tips to keep your ticker ticking:
- Have no more than one to two alcoholic drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women. One drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer (a bottle), 5 ounces of wine (a proper glass), and 1.5 ounces of spirits (a proper shot).
- Eat a diet that’s free of trans fats, low in saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and sugar, and high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids, and dark chocolate.
- Exercise at moderate intensity for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- Limit stress. Try meditating, spending time with people you love, getting enough sleep, and seeking counseling if you need it.
- Quit smoking today. Get help quitting here.
- Work with your doctor to manage your blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and weight.
According to the CDC, the number of emergency room visits in 2017 for issues related to the heart and blood vessels was nearly
All those doctor visits and hospital stays add up — not to mention the cost of treatment.
The cost of caring for cardiovascular disease is more than
Heart attack is one of the most expensive conditions treated in U.S. hospitals. Its care costs an estimated $11.5 billion a year.
By 2035, more than