Cardiovascular Health A-Z
At the Cardiovascular Center, we place high value on educating our patients about their conditions and medical care options. The more information you have, the better choices you can make.
Cardiovascular Disease: A Major Threat
It's hard to put it much plainer: The most common cause of death in America is cardiovascular disease. Every 34 seconds, another life ends when a diseased heart stops beating. And another family is left behind.
Strokes, caused by blocked or weakened blood vessels in the brain, comes in at number three on our nation's list of causes of death. They can kill quickly, or leave patients disabled for the rest of their lives.
The University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center was established to fight this tide of death and disability from all cardiovascular causes, including stroke. Our medical center is located in an American state that has one of the highest levels of cardiovascular disease in the country, but our care and research make a difference for all Americans.
Diseases of the heart and blood vessels do more than just kill. They profoundly affect the lives of those who have them. More than 70 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular condition, from the tiniest infant born with a mis-formed heart valve, to the young athlete with a heart rhythm abnormality, to the businesswoman with a growing aneurysm and the senior citizen whose life is limited by high blood pressure and heart failure.
As America's population ages, and the epidemics of obesity and diabetes take their toll on millions of hearts and blood vessels, cardiovascular disease is expected to increase. It already costs our economy $393 billion each year in medical care, lost productivity and other costs.
We can't afford to keep treating this family of diseases in the same way. The U-M Cardiovascular Center is dedicated to improving patients' chances of healthy survival, bettering the quality of their care, and giving more people the tools and education they need to prevent cardiovascular disease in themselves and their loved ones. Our research, and our innovative care, are making a difference.
Important Facts from the American Heart Association
- Michigan has the seventh highest coronary death rate in the United States.
- 61.8 million Americans (one in five) are estimated to have one or more types of cardiovascular disease; 29.7 million are male and 32.1 million are female, according to the American Heart Association.
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) claimed the lives of 945,836 Americans (1 in every 2.5) in 2000, making CVD the nation's No. 1 killer.
- Since 1900, CVD has been the No. 1 killer in the United States for every year except 1918.
- About 2,600 Americans die of CVD each day, an average of one death every 33 seconds.
- CVD kills more people then the next five causes of death (cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents, diabetes mellitus, and influenza and pneumonia) combined.
- 50 million Americans have high blood pressure (hypertension).
- 12.9 million Americans have coronary heart disease, including 7.6 million with previous myocardial infarction (heart attack), and 6.6 million with angina.
- 4.9 million Americans have congestive heart failure.
- 4.7 million Americans have had a stroke, making it the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S.
- 1 million Americans have a congenital heart defect.