Heart Disease Now Affects Nearly Half of American Adults


According to the American Heart Association's Heart and Stroke Statistics — 2019 Update, published in Circulation, 48 percent of adults in the United States, about 121.5 million people, now have some type of cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, or hypertension).

Cardiovascular-related deaths are declining worldwide (17.9 million in 2015 to 17.6 million in 2016) but rising in the U.S. (836,546 in 2015 to 840,678 in 2016), after decades of decline. The significant increase in heart disease prevalence in the 2019 update is largely due to guidelines released in 2017 that define high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg, rather than the previous threshold of 140/90 mm Hg.

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 80 percent of cardiovascular disease cases can be prevented by:

  • Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Managing diabetes
  • Adopting lifestyle behaviors such as eating a healthy diet and getting enough physical activity
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking

Sourced from: American Heart Association