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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In 2013, 600,000 People Will Die From A Heart Attack in the United States Alone

Black Man, Heart Attack

That's right, every year more than half a million people in the United States die from a heart attack. This represents 1 in every 4 deaths. And here are some other heart attack facts from the CDC (Center For Disease Control):

* Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.

* Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.

* Every year about 935,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 610,000 are a first heart attack. 325,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

* Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.3 This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

* Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. For American Indians or Alaska Natives and Asians or Pacific Islanders, heart disease is second only to cancer.

Below are the percentages of all deaths caused by heart disease in 2008, listed by ethnicity:

Race of Ethnic Group% of Deaths
African Americans24.5
American Indians or Alaska Natives18.0
Asians or Pacific Islanders23.2

What You Can Do:

Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack is key to preventing death, but many people don’t know the signs.

In a 2005 survey, most respondents—92%—recognized chest pain as a symptom of a heart attack. Only 27% were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a heart attack.

About 47% of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside a hospital. This suggests that many people with heart disease don't act on early warning signs.

Heart attacks have several major warning signs and symptoms:

* Chest pain or discomfort.
* Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
* Shortness of breath.
* Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

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