This document contains a few key statistics about heart disease, stroke, other cardiovascular
diseases and their risk factors, in addition to commonly cited statistics about the American
Heart Association (AHA)’s research program. This At-a-Glance document is based on the
association’s 2021 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, which is compiled annually by
the AHA, the National Institutes of Health, and other partners. The years cited are the most
recent available for each statistical category. Key words included in the article:
cardiovascular diseases; epidemiology; risk factors; statistics; stroke
American Heart Association Research • The AHA does not conduct research. Rather, the organization uses donations to fund research projects. Research applications are carefully weighed and selected by teams of
scientists and healthcare professionals who volunteer for the association.
• The AHA has funded 14 Nobel Prize winners and several important medical
breakthroughs, including techniques and standards for CPR, the first artificial heart
valve, implantable pacemakers, cholesterol inhibitors, microsurgery and drug-coated
• The AHA funds more research into cardiovascular diseases and stroke than any other
private not-for-profit organization except for the federal government.
• The AHA has funded more than $4.6 billion in research since 1949.

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