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In 2021, the heart disease mortality rate in the US was 209.6 deaths per 100,000 people, meaning heart disease caused about one in every five deaths. Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the US since 1950.

“Heart disease” is a broad label for various heart conditions, including coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type. CAD killed 375,476 Americans in 2021.

How many people in the US have heart disease?

In 2019, 5.5% of American adults reported having a heart disease diagnosis, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

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How many people die from heart disease?

About 695,000 people died from heart disease in 2021, making it the leading cause of death for American adults and accounting for 20.1% of all deaths. According to the CDC, one person dies from heart disease every 33 seconds.

Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups in the US. In 2021, heart disease was the cause of death for 22.6% of all deaths among Black people. For Asians, that number was 18.6%, and for Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders, it was 18.3%.

Heart disease by state

In 2021, Oklahoma had the highest heart disease mortality rate, with 264.2 deaths per 100,000 people Other southern states followed Oklahoma, including Mississippi (255.2), Alabama (247.5), and Louisiana (235.5). Heart disease was the leading cause of death in all of these states.

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Minnesota had a rate of 123.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 2021 — less than half the rate of Oklahoma. Hawaii (126.5), Massachusetts (134), and Colorado (135.1) followed as states with the lowest heart disease mortality rates that year. In all of these states, heart disease was either the leading cause of death or the second after cancer.

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In California, 65,471 people died from heart disease in 2021, which was the highest total number of deaths from any state that year. In comparison, Alaska had 1,011 total deaths from heart disease. However, California’s population is about 54 times the size of Alaska’s.

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What are the risk factors for heart disease?

Factors such as existing health conditions, lifestyle, age, and family history can increase a person’s risk for heart disease. Some factors are controllable, such as lifestyle choices: diet, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and physical activity. Other factors are not controllable, such as age and family history. According to the CDC, 47% of Americans either have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or are current smokers — the three key risk factors for heart disease.

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Respondent-reported prevalence of heart disease, 2020–2021