Coronary Heart Disease Rates Are Dropping in the U.S.

But CDC Report Shows Wide Variation in State-by-State Rates of Coronary Heart Disease

Medically Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on October 13, 2011
From the WebMD Archives

Oct. 13, 2011 -- The CDC says that the overall rate of coronary heart disease in the U.S. is on the decline, dropping from 6.7% in 2006 to 6% in 2010.

But the rates of coronary heart disease vary widely by state of residence, sex, race, and educational levels, the CDC says in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Coronary heart disease is more common among men, people who have less than a high school education, or who live in the South.

The highest declines were found among young people, women, Asians, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders, and college graduates.

Among other key findings:

  • The coronary heart disease rate is significantly higher for men (7.8%) than for women (4.6%).
  • People with less than a high school education have a coronary heart disease rate of 9.2%, compared with 4.6% for those with more than a college degree.
  • Heart disease rates are higher in the South -- 8.2% in Kentucky, for example, compared to only 3.7% in Hawaii.
  • The heart disease rate in 2010 was greatest among people 65 and older (19.8%), followed by people 45 to 64 (7.1%), and 1.2% for those between the ages of 18 and 44.
  • Coronary heart disease rates were highest among American Indians and Alaska natives (11.6%), followed by African-Americans (6.5%), Hispanics (6.1%), whites (5.8%), and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders (3.9%).

Results of the study were based on data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys for 2006-2010.

The CDC says the deaths due to coronary heart disease have declined continuously in the past half century, due in part to improvements in treatment and a reduction in risk factors, such as the number of people who use tobacco.

Heart Disease Rates by State

Here are the states with the highest rates of coronary heart disease, based on 2010 data:

  • Kentucky 8.2%
  • West Virginia 8%
  • Louisiana 7.8%
  • Oklahoma 7.6%
  • Alabama 7.4%
  • Mississippi 7.4%
  • Arkansas 7.1%
  • Michigan 7.1%
  • Tennessee 6.9%
  • Indiana 6.9%
  • Texas 6.8%
  • North Carolina 6.7%

Here are the states (plus Washington, D.C.) with the lowest rates of coronary heart disease:

  • Hawaii 3.7%
  • Washington, D.C. 3.8%
  • Connecticut 4.4
  • Alaska 4.7%
  • Oregon 4.8%
  • Washington 4.8%
  • Minnesota 4.9%
  • Utah 4.9%
  • Wisconsin 4.9%
  • Colorado 5%