Cardiovascular disease

About cardiovascular diseases


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the name for the group of disorders of heart and blood vessels, and include:

  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • coronary heart disease (heart attack)
  • cerebrovascular disease (stroke)
  • peripheral vascular disease
  • heart failure
  • rheumatic heart disease
  • congenital heart disease
  • cardiomyopathies.

Key facts

  • CVDs are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause.
  • An estimated 17.3 million people died from CVDs in 2008, representing 30% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.3 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.2 million were due to stroke.
  • Low- and middle-income countries are disproportionally affected: over 80% of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries and occur almost equally in men and women.
  • By 2030, almost 23.6 million people will die from CVDs, mainly from heart disease and stroke. These are projected to remain the single leading causes of death.