AHA: Nearly half of all Americans have cardiovascular disease

The reported prevalence of CVD in 2019 is much higher than in the past, mainly driven by the way high blood pressure is now defined.

A new report from the American Heart Association (AHA) found that 48% of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The new findings, published in AHA’s journal Circulation, are an annual statistical update on CVD, which includes coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure, according to AHA.

AHA said that this year’s reported prevalence of CVD is much higher than what was reported in the past, mainly driven by the way high blood pressure is now defined. According to new comprehensive guidelines released in late 2017 by AHA and the American College of Cardiology, high blood pressure is now defined as a reading of 130/80 mm Hg or higher, not 140/90 mm Hg, the previous definition.

The 2019 report on CVD prevalence also includes information on the impact of social determinants of health and more evidence-based approaches to behavioral changes for those at risk.