Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects the heart and blood vessels. The latest research from the American Heart Association (AHA) found that deaths due to CVD have declined 30% over a 10-year period (1998-2008). Despite this, CVD is still a leading cause of death in the US.

The AHA also provided data on some of the major types of cardiovascular diseases, for example:

  • One in every 6 deaths is due to heart disease.
  • One in every 9 deaths is due to heart failure.
  • One in every 18 deaths is due to stroke (the death rate has dropped almost 35% in a 10-year period).

These statistics are powerful because they help you understand the seriousness of being diagnosed with a type of CVD. If you have risk factors for CVD, like high blood pressure, obesity, or type 2 diabetes, it is important that you work closely with your doctor to create an effective treatment plan. By addressing these risk factors, you may be able to improve your health and live longer.


Roger VL, Go AS, et al. Executive summary: heart disease and stroke statistics—2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;125(1):188-197.

Last reviewed October 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 12/20/2014