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Heart disease: the leading cause of death in the US in 2023

Heart diseases topped the mortality statistics in the United States in 2023, accounting for 28.2% of all deaths. Cancer ranked second, responsible for 22.5%, while unintentional injuries, including car accidents, workplace incidents, and suicides, held the third position, representing 6.9% of all deaths.

Statistical Data

Moreover, diabetes mellitus, liver disease, influenza, pneumonia, and suicide were other common causes of death in the USA in 2023. It’s crucial to note that mortality rates vary based on age, gender, and overall health of the population.

It’s important to highlight that data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) don’t include COVID-19 deaths classified as other causes, such as heart or lung diseases. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that up to 25% of all COVID-19 deaths might have been misclassified. Considering this, COVID-19 could have been the second or third leading cause of death in the USA in 2023.

Risk Factors in Heart Disease

Understanding the key risk factors for heart diseases is essential for promoting prevention and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Here are the fundamental risk factors, each explained in detail:

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure overburdens the arteries, increasing the risk of heart damage. Often asymptomatic, the importance of regular monitoring stands out.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels can lead to plaque formation in the arteries, impairing blood flow. Diets rich in saturated fats contribute to this increase.


One of the major risk factors, smoking damages arteries, reducing blood flow and increasing clot formation.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes damages arteries over time, raising the risk of heart diseases. Proper glucose control is crucial to reducing this risk.


Excess weight places an additional burden on the heart, increasing the likelihood of developing other risk factors like diabetes and hypertension.


Lack of regular physical activity is associated with a higher risk of heart diseases. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, controls blood pressure, and improves overall heart health.

Poor Diet

Diets rich in saturated fats, refined sugars, and sodium contribute to the development of heart diseases. A balanced diet is essential.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol intake raises blood pressure and contributes to obesity, increasing the risk of heart diseases. Moderate control is key.


Chronic stress can contribute to the development of heart diseases, increasing blood pressure and promoting harmful behaviors.

Age and Genetics

Some heart diseases, like congenital ones, may arise from birth, while others, like coronary diseases, typically appear in adulthood, especially after the age of 45.

According to the CDC, in the USA, the average age of death from heart disease is 75 years. However, heart disease can affect people of all ages, including children.

Prevention in Heart Disease

In addition to symptoms, risk factors such as age, gender, family history, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk. Regularly consult a doctor for check-ups and monitor your heart health. Tips to reduce the risk include maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, not smoking, adopting a healthy diet, and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.


Consulting a doctor is the best way to detect heart diseases. Physical exams, inquiries about symptoms, and laboratory and imaging tests assist in diagnosis. Common symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.

There are also a variety of apps that can help in the control and prevention of heart diseases. HeartAdvisor, HeartSteps, MyHeartMap are some of the apps that can be used for monitoring and as channels of information on exercises and diets.


Amidst alarming statistics indicating heart diseases as the leading cause of deaths in the United States in 2023, it is imperative to consider the urgency of raising awareness and adopting preventive measures. It becomes evident that prevention, based on understanding risk factors and promoting a healthy lifestyle, plays a crucial role in mitigating this concerning scenario. Awareness of the importance of regular check-ups, monitoring risk factors, and striving for a healthy lifestyle emerges as fundamental elements in the battle against heart diseases.

Given the possibility of underreporting of COVID-19 deaths, a profound understanding of statistical data, coupled with attention to symptoms and risk factors, assumes a crucial role in this context. In this regard, we encourage the appreciation of our content as an auxiliary tool in promoting prevention. By assimilating this information, readers will be better equipped to make informed decisions about their cardiovascular health, contributing to a healthier and more resilient future.

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