In 2005, more than 34% of all Wisconsin deaths (15,892) were due to cardiovascular disease (CVD). This included 7,608 deaths due to coronary (ischemic) heart disease, 1,440 deaths due to congestive heart failure, and 2,952 deaths due to stroke. CVD is the leading cause of death among men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. Based on 2005 data, CVD causes more deaths annually than cancer, AIDS, automobile crashes, domestic abuse, and alcohol abuse combined.
In Wisconsin, the estimated annual total cost of CVD in 2005 was $7.5 billion,* or more than $1,000 for every man, woman and child in Wisconsin. Total costs include direct costs (health care, provider visits, hospital and nursing home services, medications, home care) and indirect costs (lost productivity). The burden is higher among minority populations.
Background and Prevention
Cardiovascular disease includes a variety of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as heart attack (coronary artery disease), high blood pressure (hypertension), congestive heart failure, and brain attack (stroke). In both Wisconsin and the United States, heart disease is the number one cause of death and stroke is the number five cause of death.
Much of the health and economic burden of cardiovascular disease can be prevented and controlled. If individuals control their blood pressure and blood cholesterol, quit smoking, increase physical activity, maintain a normal body weight, and eat a healthy diet, heart disease can be prevented. For information about physical activity and nutrition, visit the Cardiovascular Health Links page.
* Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2005 Update. American Heart Association, Dallas, Texas.