Heart Disease

We use the term "Heart Disease" to refer to any condition that affects the blood flow to the heart.

Some examples of heart diseases are:

The public health impact of heart disease and stroke is significant, both in terms of disease burden and financial burden. Heart disease and stroke are the number one and number three causes of death in Maryland respectively. Coronary heart disease and stroke have high prevalence, and result in high rates of hospitalization and mortality. In 2018, 4.1% of Maryland adults had a diagnosis of angina or coronary heart disease, 3.9% of Maryland adults have experienced a heart attack (myocardial infarction) at some point in their life, and 3.5% have experienced a stroke at some point in their life (CDC). 

Several health conditions, your lifestyle, and your age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease. These are called risk factors. About half of all Americans (47%) have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking

Other important risk factors for heart disease include diabetes and obesity. It is estimated that Maryland residents reporting these risk factors are also more likely to report having coronary heart disease.