States With the Most Heart Disease

October 8, 2018 by Mike Sauter

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Heart disease remains by far the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 800,000 deaths a year, or about 1 in 3 deaths. In the United States today, 6.9% of adults have some form of major cardiovascular disease, and of these, about half have suffered a heart attack. The major cardiovascular diseases are heart disease and stroke.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke each year could be prevented.

Among the leading behavioral risk factors of heart disease are poor exercise, unhealthy eating, and smoking. Conditions that also increase the risk of heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Across a population, high rates of these factors can have an impact on the incidence of heart disease, and nationwide, some states report higher rates of these factors — and higher incidence of heart disease. In some states, more than one in 10 adults have a serious form of cardiovascular disease, while in others, it is less than half this rate.

To find the states with the highest incidence of heart disease, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The list ranks the states by the share of residents 18 or older that had a major cardiovascular disease in 2015, from the lowest prevalence of heart disease to the highest.

Click here to see the states with the most heart disease.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

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50. Hawaii
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 5.4%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 39.7% (2nd highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.8% (14th lowest)
> Median household income: $77,765 (3rd highest)

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49. Colorado
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 5.7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 40.2% (the highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.5% (12th lowest)
> Median household income: $69,117 (11th highest)

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48. Utah
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 5.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 36.3% (8th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 11.7% (the lowest)
> Median household income: $68,358 (13th highest)

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47. Minnesota
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 5.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 35.0% (13th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 12.7% (2nd lowest)
> Median household income: $68,388 (12th highest)

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46. Alaska
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 29.6% (10th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 13.8% (5th lowest)
> Median household income: $73,181 (7th highest)

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45. California
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 36.7% (6th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 17.8% (22nd highest)
> Median household income: $71,805 (8th highest)

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44. Connecticut
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 35.7% (10th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.4% (10th lowest)
> Median household income: $74,168 (5th highest)

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43. New Hampshire
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 35.4% (12th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.1% (7th lowest)
> Median household income: $73,381 (6th highest)

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42. New Jersey
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.1%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 34.8% (14th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 17.6% (23rd highest)
> Median household income: $80,088 (2nd highest)

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41. Montana
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.2%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 36.7% (6th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 15.6% (17th lowest)
> Median household income: $53,386 (14th lowest)

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40. Idaho
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.3%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 32.1% (25th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 15.9% (20th lowest)
> Median household income: $52,225 (11th lowest)

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39. Wisconsin
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.3%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 32.2% (22nd highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 16.0% (21st lowest)
> Median household income: $59,305 (22nd highest)

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38. Vermont
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.4%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 38.6% (3rd highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 13.5% (4th lowest)
> Median household income: $57,513 (24th lowest)

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37. Iowa
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.4%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.7% (21st lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 13.9% (6th lowest)
> Median household income: $58,570 (25th highest)

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36. Oregon
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.4%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 33.0% (19th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 16.4% (24th lowest)
> Median household income: $60,212 (20th highest)

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35. Rhode Island
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.5%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 35.8% (9th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 15.6% (18th lowest)
> Median household income: $63,870 (15th highest)

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34. Nebraska
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 30.6% (11th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.7% (13th lowest)
> Median household income: $59,970 (21st highest)

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33. Massachusetts
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 37.8% (5th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.1% (8th lowest)
> Median household income: $77,385 (4th highest)

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32. North Dakota
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 30.8% (12th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.8% (15th lowest)
> Median household income: $61,843 (18th highest)

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31. New York
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 38.3% (4th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 16.9% (24th highest)
> Median household income: $64,894 (14th highest)

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30. Washington
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 35.7% (10th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.4% (10th lowest)
> Median household income: $70,979 (10th highest)

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29. Wyoming
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.6% (19th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 15.7% (19th lowest)
> Median household income: $60,434 (19th highest)

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28. Virginia
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 33.3% (17th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 16.3% (22nd lowest)
> Median household income: $71,535 (9th highest)

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27. Nevada
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 32.3% (20th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 20.9% (8th highest)
> Median household income: $58,003 (25th lowest)

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26. Maryland
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.9%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 32.3% (20th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 14.4% (11th lowest)
> Median household income: $80,776 (the highest)

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25. Arizona
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 6.9%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.7% (21st lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 18.6% (15th highest)
> Median household income: $56,581 (23rd lowest)

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24. Kansas
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 28.9% (9th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 15.4% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $56,422 (21st lowest)

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23. New Mexico
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 33.2% (18th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 21.7% (7th highest)
> Median household income: $46,744 (5th lowest)

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22. South Dakota
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.2%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 33.4% (16th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 13.0% (3rd lowest)
> Median household income: $56,521 (22nd lowest)

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21. Illinois
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.3%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.8% (23rd lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 18.0% (19th highest)
> Median household income: $62,992 (16th highest)

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20. Maine
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.5%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 32.2% (22nd highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 16.4% (23rd lowest)
> Median household income: $56,277 (20th lowest)

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19. Florida
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 33.9% (15th highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 19.5% (12th highest)
> Median household income: $52,594 (12th lowest)

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18. Delaware
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.3% (15th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 16.4% (25th lowest)
> Median household income: $62,852 (17th highest)

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17. Michigan
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 32.0% (25th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 18.0% (19th highest)
> Median household income: $54,909 (18th lowest)

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16. Texas
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 28.3% (6th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 18.3% (17th highest)
> Median household income: $59,206 (23rd highest)

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15. Pennsylvania
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.6% (19th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 16.6% (25th highest)
> Median household income: $59,195 (24th highest)

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14. North Carolina
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.9%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 32.2% (22nd highest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 18.3% (18th highest)
> Median household income: $52,752 (13th lowest)

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13. Ohio
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 7.9%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.2% (14th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 18.0% (21st highest)
> Median household income: $54,021 (16th lowest)

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12. South Carolina
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.9% (24th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 20.0% (11th highest)
> Median household income: $50,570 (9th lowest)

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11. Georgia
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 8.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.6% (19th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 19.1% (13th highest)
> Median household income: $56,183 (19th lowest)

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10. Indiana
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 8.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.8% (23rd lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 18.5% (16th highest)
> Median household income: $54,181 (17th lowest)

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9. Missouri
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 9.2%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 31.5% (16th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 19.0% (14th highest)
> Median household income: $53,578 (15th lowest)

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8. Arkansas
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 9.3%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 27.2% (2nd lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 25.6% (2nd highest)
> Median household income: $45,869 (3rd lowest)

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7. Oklahoma
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 9.4%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 28.5% (7th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 20.2% (10th highest)
> Median household income: $50,051 (8th lowest)

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6. Louisiana
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 9.7%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 28.1% (5th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 21.9% (6th highest)
> Median household income: $46,145 (4th lowest)

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5. Tennessee
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 9.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 28.8% (8th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 20.5% (9th highest)
> Median household income: $51,340 (10th lowest)

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4. Alabama
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 9.8%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 28.0% (4th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 22.6% (4th highest)
> Median household income: $48,123 (6th lowest)

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3. Mississippi
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 10.1%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 27.3% (3rd lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 23.2% (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $43,529 (2nd lowest)

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2. Kentucky
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 10.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 30.9% (13th lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 22.5% (5th highest)
> Median household income: $48,375 (7th lowest)

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1. West Virginia
> Prevalence of major cardiovascular disease: 11.6%
> Adults who report healthy weight: 26.7% (the lowest)
> Adults who report fair or poor health: 26.3% (the highest)
> Median household income: $43,469 (the lowest)

Detailed Findings

States with higher rates of cardiovascular disease also generally have the highest rates of premature mortality. Nine of the 10 states where heart disease is most common among adults are also among the 10 states with the highest overall premature mortality rates.

Cardiovascular disease can be caused by genetic disposition and other factors outside of the control of the individual, but a number of factors increase the risk of developing a related disease, and the behaviors that lead to obesity, which include poor diet and a lack of exercise, are among the greatest of these. Nationwide, 30% of adults are obese, but in the majority of the 10 states with the highest heart disease rates, obesity rates exceed 35%. In West Virginia, which has the highest cardiovascular disease rate, 37.7% of adults are obese, the highest share of any state.

Smoking is also known to be a major cause of heart disease, and like obesity rates, smoking rates are similarly high in states with high rates of cardiovascular illness. Only one of the 10 states with the highest rates of heart disease is not among the 10 states with the highest adult smoking rate. Almost 25% of West Virginia’s adult population smokes, the highest share in the country and well above the 17% national smoking rate.

Many of the conditions associated with heart disease, Including smoking and obesity, have been shown to be correlated to living in or near poverty. These include high stress, a lack of access to medical care, a lack of access to places for physical activity, and more. In the 10 states with the highest rates of heart disease, the median household income is between $6,000 and $16,000 below the median household income of $60,336 a year.

Methodology

To determine the states with the most heart disease, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of residents 18 or older who had a major cardiovascular disease as of 2015 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Also from the CDC BRFSS, we reviewed the share of adults who reported healthy weight, meaning a BMI of less than 25, and the share of adults who reported being in fair or poor health, both for 2015. The state median household income came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 1-year American Community Survey.