Preventable cardiovascular events place a considerable health and economic burden on the United States. The study was published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers identify emergency department visits and hospitalizations for nonfatal and fatal cardiovascular events. Deaths were identified using National Vital Statistics System data. The researchers found that in 2016, 2.2 million hospitalizations resulting in $32.7 billion in costs and 415,480 deaths occurred.

Heart Disease

Heart disease and stroke are largely preventable. However, despite decades-long improvement in outcomes, they remain leading causes of morbidity, mortality, and health care costs in the United States.

Stroke Event

Moreover, considerable disparities persist and recent evidence suggests that heart disease and stroke event rates are increasing among certain demographic groups, including adults aged 35–64 years.

In response, CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched Million Hearts 2022, a national initiative working to prevent one million heart attacks, strokes, and other acute cardiovascular events during 2017–2021.


Men and non-Hispanic blacks had the highest rates of hospitalization and mortality, which increased with age. Among adults aged 18 to 64 years, 805,000 hospitalizations and 75,245 deaths occurred. Rates of emergency department visit varied by state (from 56.4 per 100,000 in Connecticut to 274.8 per 100,000 in Kentucky).

Variance was also seen for hospitalizations (484 [Wyoming] to 1,670.3 per 100,000 [Washington, D.C.]) and mortality (111.2 [Vermont] to 267.3 per 100,000 [Mississippi]). Without preventive intervention, approximately 16.3 million events and $173.7 billion in hospitalization costs could occur from 2017 to 2021.

Million Hearts–preventable events place a considerable health and economic burden on the United States. With coordinated efforts, many of these events could be prevented in every state to achieve the initiative’s goal.