Costs & Consequences

Heart disease and stroke can be fatal, but they can also lead to serious illness, disability, and lower quality of life. Suffering a stroke may lead to significant disability, such as paralysis, speech difficulties, and emotional problems. Following a heart attack, individuals frequently suffer fatigue and depression, and they may find it more difficult to engage in physical activities.

1 in 3 deaths in the United States is due to cardivascular disease
About 1 in every 6 health care dollars is spen on cardiovascular disease

Key Facts

Together, heart disease and stroke are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing the nation today. On a personal level, families who experience heart disease or stroke have to deal with not only medical bills but also lost wages and the real potential of a decreased standard of living.

  • Approximately 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes occur every year in the United States.
  • More than 800,000 people in the United States die from cardiovascular disease each year—that's 1 in every 3 deaths, and about 160,000 of them occur in people under age 65.
  • Heart disease kills roughly the same number people in the United States each year as cancer, lower respiratory diseases (including pneumonia), and accidents combined.
  • Heart disease and stroke cost the nation an estimated $316.6 billion in health care costs and lost productivity in 2011.

More Information

Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Video: John’s Story

Video: Andrea’s Story


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