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Approved by Licensed Medical Personnel - heart disease, cost of heart disease, ethnicity and cardiovascular problems, symptoms of heart disease, types of heart diseaseMillions of People with Heart Disease Translates Into Billions of Dollars in Societal Costs

The statistics concerning heart disease in the United States are staggering.  Not only does the disease create trauma for the patient and his or her family, but financial costs to society are overwhelming.

How Many People Are Affected By Heart Disease? What Ethnic Groups Are Hit the Hardest by Cardiovascular Disease?

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According to the National Institute of Health, there are approximately 70.1 million people affected by some type of cardiac disorder! Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the US.

Among minorities, cardiac disease, or heart disease, ranks first as leading cause of death. While mortality rates from heart conditions have slowly been declining for most ethnic groups, there has been an exception:  American Indian females. The time frame for this study was between 1985 and 2002.

Between 1992 and 2002, the percentage of decline of death rates for CHD (Cardiac Heart Disease) was the highest among white males and the least decline was in the black female population.

Financial Impact Of Cardiac Heart Disease

Besides the horrific costs of cardiac heart disease in terms of personal tragedy, society also bears the brunt of the effects of this disease. It is estimated that approximately $393 billion is spent each year on cardiovascular diseases, with the following breakdown:

  • $242 billion for direct health care costs
  • $35 billion for indirect costs of morbidity
  • $117 billion in the direct costs of mortality

What Is Heart Disease?

The latest definition of heart disease is, "Any disease that affects how the heart normally works." Narrowing or hardening of the arteries that lead to the heart is the most common type of cardiac disease, today.

Various types of heart disease include:

  • Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiogenic shock
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Heart failure
  • Heart tumor
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Idiopathic cardiomyopathy
  • Ischemic cardiomyopathy
  • Acute mitral regurgitation
  • Chronic mitral regurgitation
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Peripartum cardiomyopathy
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Stable angina
  • Unstable angina
  • Tricuspid regurgitation

Causes Of Heart Disease

The most common cause of heart disease or cardiovascular disorders appear to be:

  • Hypertension ("high blood pressure")
  • Heart valves that do not function normally
  • Electrical conduction of the heart that causes an abnormal rhythm
  • Heart's pumping function that is affected by toxins or infections
  • Congenital or "birth defects" of the heart