How Common is Heart Failure?
*Between 2 to 3 million Americans have heart failure, and 400,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
*The condition is slightly more common among men than women and is twice as common among African Americans as whites.
*Heart failure causes 39,000 deaths a year and is a contributing factor in another 225,000 deaths.
*The death rate attributed to heart failure rose by 64 percent from 1970 to 1990, while the death rate from coronary heart disease dropped by 49 percent during the same period.
*Heart failure mortality is about twice as high for African Americans as whites for all age groups.
*In a sense, heart failure's growing presence as a health problem reflects the Nation's changing population: More people are living longer. People age 65 and older represent the fastest growing segment of the population, and the risk of heart failure increases with age.
*The condition affects 1 percent of people age 50, but about 5 percent of people age 75.
Source: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of The National Institutes of Health.