Causes & risks

Understand the distribution of cardiovascular diseases by disease subtype and by risk factor

Different cardiovascular conditions account for different rates of mortality and morbidity. Risk factors such as diet, smoking, and air pollution can have a significant impact on people’s cardiovascular health. Filter by measure, age, unit, sex, and year to show breakdowns of CVD by condition and by risk factor. This data can support the development of effective and sustainable treatment and prevention strategies. 


Find the rate of CVD deaths due to smoking among women of all ages worldwide in 1990, then compare it to the same rate in 2019. After looking up the same numbers for men, you will see that over the past 30 years, rates of CVD deaths due to smoking dropped among both men and women. Which sex experienced the largest decrease in CVD death rate?


Out of all CVD conditions, ischemic heart disease caused the greatest number of deaths worldwide in 2019—accounting for 9.1 million (or nearly 50%) of the total 18.6 million CVD deaths. That same year, dietary risks constituted the largest risk factor, leading to almost 4.9 million CVD deaths.

*Risk rates and numbers do not account for interaction between multiple risks, so they should not be interpreted as mutually exclusive.


What patterns have emerged for different cardiovascular conditions over the past three decades?


How significant have these shifts been since 1990? Where are we making progress in preventing and managing cardiovascular disease and where should efforts be doubled?