New Study Reveals Latest Data on Global Burden of Cardiovascular Disease

A world without cardiovascular disease (CVD) is possible, yet millions of lives are lost prematurely to heart disease each year, according to the new Global Burden of Disease (GBD) special report.

“There are many inexpensive, effective treatments. We know what risk factors we need to identify and treat. There are simple healthy choices that people can make to improve their health. This atlas provides detailed information on where countries stand in their efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases.” said Gregory A. Roth, MD, MPH, senior author of the paper.

The paper specifically addresses 18 cardiovascular conditions and provides estimates for 15 leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease: environmental (air pollution, household air pollution, lead exposure, low temperature, high temperature), metabolic (systolic blood pressure, LDL-C, body mass index, fasting plasma glucose, kidney dysfunction) and behavioral (dietary, smoking, secondhand smoke, alcohol use, physical activity.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Ischemic heart disease remains the leading cause of global CVD mortality with an age-standardized rate per 100,000 of 108.8 deaths, followed by intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke.
  • High systolic blood pressure accounted for the largest contribution to attributable age-standardized CVD disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) at 2,564.9 per 100,000 globally.
  • Dietary risks were the leading contributor to age-standardized CVD DALYs among the behavioral risks, while ambient particulate matter pollution led the environmental risks.
  • Between 2015-2022, age-standardized CVD mortality increased in 27 out of 204 locations.
  • Global death counts due to CVD increased from 12.4 million in 1990 to 19.8 million in 2022 reflecting global population growth and aging and the contributions from preventable metabolic, environmental, and behavioral risks.
  • Eastern Europe had the highest age-standardized total CVD mortality at 553 deaths per 100,000. In contrast, countries in Australasia had the lowest age-standardized total CVD mortality at 122.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
  • Central Asia, Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East had the highest age-standardized mortality rate per 100,000 people attributable to high systolic blood pressure. The regions with the highest rates of CVD burden attributable to dietary risk were Central Asia, Oceania, and parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

“Identifying sustainable ways to work with communities to take action to prevent and control modifiable risk factors for heart disease is essential for reducing the global burden of heart disease,” said George A. Mensah, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., director of the Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science at the National 


American College of Cardiology. “New study reveals latest data on global burden of cardiovascular disease.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2023. <>.

Materials provided by American College of Cardiology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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