A new report from the American Heart Association (AHA) provides a 2019 update of heart disease and stroke statistics. Data include statistics on tobacco use, cardiovascular health, physical activity, nutrition, blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, sleep, stroke, and several other contributors to heart disease. The full report can be found in Circulation.

According to the report, although cigarette smoking has declined in recent years, tobacco use still accounted for approximately 7.1 million deaths worldwide as of 2016. There has been a decreasing trend in the prevalence of self-reported inactivity in adults from 1998 to 2016, with the largest drop occurring between 2007 and 2016 (40.1% to 26.9%, respectively). Increased use of smartphones may be contributing to inactivity levels, but there are insufficient data on this front. Sodium intake has remained high, according to the latest statistics, with most of the added sodium consumed in foods outside the home.

In addition to statistics on heart disease-related contributors, the authors of the report also provided statistics on various cardiovascular conditions. These included disorders of heart rhythm, subclinical atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy and heart failure, valvular diseases, congenital cardiovascular defects, and peripheral artery disease and aortic diseases. For instance, approximately 7 million people age 20 years or older reported having a stroke in 2016, according to the statistics; nearly 800,000 people experience a new stroke each year.

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Additional information on evidence-based approaches for changing behaviors, a focus on social determinants of health, and implementation strategies and metrics to evaluate and monitor healthy diets have been added to the report.

“The AHA, through its Statistics Committee, continuously monitors and evaluates sources of data on heart disease and stroke in the United States to provide the most current information available in the Statistical Update,” the authors wrote. “The 2019 annual Statistical Update is the product of a full year’s worth of effort by dedicated volunteer physicians and scientists, committed government professionals, and AHA staff members, without whom publication of this valuable resource would be impossible.”


Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, et al; for the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics-2019 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published online January 31, 2019]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659