CDC Data Shows Slight Decrease in Deaths From Heart Disease, Stroke

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement on the recent mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Mortality in the United States, 2016). The report shows heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and stroke still ranks fifth. The diseases also are the leading causes of death in the world.

Heart disease deaths per 100,000 people declined from 168.5 to 165.5, while stroke deaths went from 37.6 to 37.3. Other top causes of deaths also declined. However, the report found life expectancy dropped slightly for the second year in a row.

Preliminary mortality statistics for 2017 show heart disease and stroke deaths continue to decrease.

"Any improvement means lives saved, and so we are encouraged to see these numbers," said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. "Yet, at the same time, this report shows we have much more work to do to save people from these devastating diseases."

The decline is much less dramatic than the trend over several decades, when heart disease and stroke death rates both dropped more dramatically.

The increase in death rates among younger Americans may be explained in part by the earlier onset of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and other conditions.

For more information, please read the American Heart Association News story "Heart disease and stroke deaths decline slightly, new statistics find" at

— Source: American Heart Association