AHA’s Annual Cardiovascular Statistics Update: ‘The Battle Is Not Won’

In 2013, one-third of deaths in the United States were due to cardiovascular disease, and heart disease and stroke were the top 2 causes of death around the world, according to the American Heart Association (AHA)’s 2016 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update.

Overall, cardiovascular disease accounted for 30.8% (n = 800,937) of all deaths in the United States in 2013—this is despite the fact that deaths of this nature actually declined by 11.7% from 2003 to 2013. Also, for the first time since 1983, more men than women died of cardiovascular disease.

Within the United States, Minnesota ranked best in terms of cardiovascular disease death rate from 2011 to 2013 (167.9 per 100,000 people) while Mississippi ranked worst (309.8 per 100,000 people). The average overall was 225.2 per 100,000 people.

Coronary heart disease caused about 1 in 7 deaths in 2013 (n = 370,213). The report estimated that in America, a coronary event occurs about every 34 seconds and a death due to coronary heart disease occurs about every 84 seconds. Stroke deaths have fallen by 18.2% since 2003—accounting for 1 in 20 deaths in 2013—but close to 800,000 people still have new or recurrent strokes each year. About 750,000 MIs occurred in 2013, and 116,793 resulted in death.

Globally, cardiovascular disease caused 31% of all deaths, with 80% reported in low- and middle-income countries in 2013 and almost equal rates for men and women. The cost of cardiovascular disease was estimated at $863 billion, and it is expected to grow to $1,044 billion by 2030.

The worldwide incidence of stroke death in 2013 was 6.5 million, accounting for 11.8% of total deaths.

“Statistics about cardiovascular disease and stroke, and particularly the metrics about death and the factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease are incredibly important,” said AHA President Mark Creager, MD, of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, NH), in a press release.

Maintaining “vigor and resolve” in preventing cardiovascular disease through encouraging healthy lifestyle habits in patients will be vital for physicians going forward, Creager added. “We’ve made progress in the fight against cardiovascular disease, but the battle is not won.”

Published by the AHA yesterday in Circulation, the Statistics Update includes figures culled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NIH, and other government agencies tracking heart disease and mortality.


Mozaffarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2016 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015;Epub ahead of print.

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  • Disclosures for the 42-member writing group are listed in the paper.

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