Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Rates Decline

June 10, 2009

Mortality rates from heart disease and stroke are falling in the United States, but cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death, according to a report by the American Heart Association (AHA). An estimated 869,724 persons died of heart disease in 2004 compared with 911,603 persons in 2003. When considered separately from other cardiovascular diseases, stroke was the third leading cause of death in 2004. The number of deaths attributable to stroke that year was estimated to be 150,074, a decrease from 157,689 deaths in 2003.

Mortality rates from heart disease and stroke are falling in the United States, but cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death, according to a report by the American Heart Association (AHA). An estimated 869,724 persons died of heart disease in 2004 compared with 911,603 persons in 2003. When considered separately from other cardiovascular diseases, stroke was the third leading cause of death in 2004. The number of deaths attributable to stroke that year was estimated to be 150,074, a decrease from 157,689 deaths in 2003.

The AHA projects that in 2008, an estimated 770,000 US adults will have a myocardial infarction (MI); 430,000 persons will have a recurrent MI; and another 175,000 persons will have a silent first MI. The AHA also projects that more than 750,000 persons will have a stroke in 2008, about 600,000 for the first time. "These statistics make it clear that cardiovascular disease remains, by far, our biggest public health challenge," says Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, assistant professor of preventive medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and chair of the AHA's statistics committee.