Ischemic Heart Disease Remains a Significant Global Health Burden

Anurag Sharma
Anurag Sharma

Updated · Oct 25, 2023


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According to Ischemic Heart Disease Statistics, Ischemic Heart Disease, also known as Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), is a common and serious medical condition that affects the heart.

It is characterized by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, leading to inadequate oxygen supply, and subsequently, damage to the heart tissue. The primary cause of IHD is the gradual build-up of fatty deposits, known as plaques, within the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart.

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  • IHD is the leading cause of death globally, accounting for approximately 16% of all deaths.
  • In the United States, IHD is responsible for more than 1 in 7 deaths, making it the leading cause of mortality.
  • Approximately 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases, including IHD, in 2022, representing 32% of all global deaths.
  • IHD is more common in men than women, with men having a higher risk of developing the condition.)
  • High blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol are significant risk factors for IHD.
  • As of 2021, it was estimated that around 240 million people worldwide were living with IHD.
  • IHD is responsible for a substantial economic burden, including healthcare costs and lost productivity, amounting to billions of dollars globally.
Ischemic Heart Disease

Types of IHD Key Statistics

  • Stable Angina
    • Stable angina is the most common manifestation of ischemic heart disease, affecting millions of people worldwide.
    • It is estimated that approximately 9.4 million adults in the United States have stable angina.
  • Unstable Angina
    • Unstable angina is a more severe form of angina that poses a higher risk of heart attack or acute coronary syndrome.
    • Among patients presenting with chest pain, about 10-20% are diagnosed with unstable angina.
  • Acute Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
    • Acute myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, is a life-threatening condition resulting from reduced or blocked blood flow to the heart muscle.
    • Each year, there are approximately 805,000 heart attacks in the United States, with about 605,000 being the first heart attacks and 200,000 recurrent attacks.
  • Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease
    • Chronic ischemic heart disease refers to long-term, recurring episodes of reduced blood flow to the heart muscle.
    • It is estimated that more than 26 million people worldwide live with chronic ischemic heart disease.

Ischemic Heart Disease Statistics by Race/Ethnicity

  • Non-Hispanic Black individuals have a higher prevalence of IHD compared to other racial/ethnic groups, with a prevalence rate of approximately 8.1%.
  • Non-Hispanic White individuals have an IHD prevalence rate of around 7.2%.
  • Hispanic individuals have an IHD prevalence rate of about 6.0%.
  • Non-Hispanic Black individuals experience higher mortality rates from IHD, with approximately 123 deaths per 100,000 populations.
  • Non-Hispanic White individuals have an IHD mortality rate of around 116 deaths per 100,000 populations.)
  • Hispanic individuals have an IHD mortality rate of about 100 deaths per 100,000 population.
Ischemic Heart Disease

Causes and Risk Factors of IHD Statistics

  • Atherosclerosis contributes to around 90% of all Ischemic Heart Disease cases.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a significant risk factor for Ischemic Heart Disease, affecting approximately 70% of patients.
  • Hyperlipidemia (high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides) is present in more than 50% of Ischemic Heart Disease cases.
  • Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of Ischemic Heart Disease by 2 to 4 times, and approximately 30% of people with diabetes develop the condition.
  • Smoking is a major modifiable risk factor, accounting for about 35% of Ischemic Heart Disease cases worldwide.
  • Lack of physical activity contributes to a 1.5 to 2.4 times higher risk of developing Ischemic Heart Disease.
  • Unhealthy eating habits, such as diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and refined sugars, can lead to 1.5 to 2 times higher risks of ischemic heart disease.

Prevention and Management of IHD

Lifestyle Modifications

  • Maintaining a healthy diet, including consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, can reduce the risk of heart disease by about 20%.
  • Engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week can lower the risk of heart disease by approximately 30-40%.
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight can collectively prevent about 25% of heart disease cases.

Medications and Pharmacological Interventions

  • In patients with a history of heart attack, statin therapy can reduce the risk of future cardiovascular events by up to 50%.
  • Combining multiple cholesterol-lowering medications (e.g., statins and PCSK9 inhibitors) can lead to an additional 50% reduction in LDL cholesterol levels.
  • As part of the 2018 AHA/ACC cholesterol management guidelines, statin therapy is recommended for individuals with diabetes, as it can lower the risk of cardiovascular events by approximately 30%.

Invasive Treatments (Stents, Angioplasty, Bypass Surgery)

  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery can reduce the risk of death in patients with severe coronary artery disease by 20-30% compared to medical therapy alone.
  • Drug-eluting stents have significantly reduced the rate of restenosis (re-narrowing of arteries) to less than 10%, improving long-term outcomes.
  • Primary PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) performed within 90 minutes of hospital arrival has been associated with a substantial reduction in mortality compared to delayed treatment.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation programs have been shown to reduce all-cause mortality by 20-30% in patients with heart disease.
  • Participation in cardiac rehab can lead to a 50% reduction in the risk of hospital readmission for heart-related issues.
  • Women participating in cardiac rehabilitation programs tend to experience greater improvements in quality of life compared to men.

Use of Aspirin for Secondary Prevention

  • Long-term aspirin use in patients with a history of heart attack can reduce the risk of a subsequent heart attack by approximately 40%.
  • Aspirin therapy is recommended for individuals with stable coronary artery disease, reducing the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction (heart attack) by about 30%.
  • Aspirin therapy is associated with a 25% reduction in the risk of recurrent stroke in patients with a history of ischemic stroke.

Lifestyle Risk Factors:

  • Poor diet, including low consumption of whole grains, is estimated to cause around 10.4 million deaths globally, contributing to heart disease and other chronic conditions.
  • Physical inactivity is responsible for approximately 5.3 million deaths worldwide, making it one of the leading risk factors for heart disease and mortality.
  • An unhealthy diet, characterized by a high intake of processed and unhealthy foods, is associated with a 30% increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Blood Pressure Control

  • Proper blood pressure control can reduce the risk of stroke by approximately 35-40% and the risk of heart attack by about 20-25%.
  • Treating hypertension effectively can lower the risk of heart failure by up to 64%.
  • Lowering systolic blood pressure by just 10 mmHg can lead to a 15% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events.

Smoking Cessation

  • Smokers are more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack compared to non-smokers.
  • Quitting smoking at any age can result in substantial benefits, with a 50% reduced risk of heart disease within 1-2 years of cessation.
  • Smokers who quit have a 70% reduced risk of dying from coronary heart disease compared to those who continue smoking.

Role of Exercise

  • Engaging in regular aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by about 20-25%.
  • Moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, for 30 minutes a day can lower the risk of heart disease by 30-40%.
  • Regular exercise is associated with a 20-30% reduction in cardiovascular mortality risk.
Anurag Sharma

Anurag Sharma

He has been helping in business of varied scales, with key strategic decisions. He is a specialist in healthcare, medical devices, and life-science, and has accurately predicted the trends in the market. Anurag is a fervent traveller, and is passionate in exploring untouched places and locations. In his free time, he loves to introspect and plan ahead.