A global killer

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. Globally, CAD is the leading cause of death and is predicted to remain so for the next 20 years.1
Each year, approximately 3.8 million men and 3.4 million women die from CAD.2 In 2020, it is estimated that this disease will be responsible for a total of 11.1 million deaths globally.1

  • Someone suffers a coronary event every 26 seconds, and someone dies from one every minute in the USA.3
  • In Europe, between 1 in 5 and 1 in 7 European women die from CAD, and the disease accounts for between 16% and 25% of all deaths in European men.6

An international epidemic

Due to this increasing incidence across the world CAD has been described as an epidemic.6

  • Studies suggest that the average age-adjusted incidence rates of CAD per 1,000 person-years are 12.5 for white men, 10.6 for black men and 4.0 for white women.7
  • According to American Heart Association (AHA) statistics, 770 000 Americans suffered a new coronary attack in 2008, and a further 430 000 experienced a recurrent attack.3 An additional 190 000 silent first heart attacks are estimated to occur each year.3

High Cost burden

In addition to its mortality burden, CAD is a leading cause of morbidity and loss of quality of life. This makes CAD a major public health problem which exerts heavy economic costs. Overall, CAD is estimated to have cost the EU €45 billion in 2003.8

  • Approximately one million working years were lost because of CAD mortality, with a total cost of €11.7 billion.
  • An additional 90 million working days were lost because of CAD morbidity.8


1. Mathers CD, Loncar D. Projections of global mortality and burden of disease from 2002 to 2030. PLoS Med. 2006 Nov;3:e442.
2. WHO. The global burden of disease: 2004 update. Available at: www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/2004_report_update/en/index.html.
3. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics–2009 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation 2009;119:e21-e181.
4. Heron MP, Hoyert DL, Xu J, Scott C, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: preliminary data for 2006. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2008;56:1-52.
5. Rea TD, Pearce RM, Raghunathan TE, et al. Incidence of out-of hospital cardiac arrest. Am J Cardiol. 2004;93:1455-1460.
6. The CLARIFY Registry: Management of Stable Coronary Artery Disease in Clinical Practice. Brochure for participating doctors. Edited by G Steg on behalf of the BEAUTIFUL Executive Committee.
7. Jones DW, Chambless LE, Folsom AR, Heiss G, Hutchinson RG, Sharrett AR, Szklo M, Taylor HA Jr. Risk factors for coronary heart disease in African Americans: the Atherosclerotic Risk in Communities Study, 1987–1997. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:2565–2571.
8. Leal J, Luengo-Fernández R, Gray A, Petersen S, Rayner M. Economic burden of cardiovascular diseases in the enlarged European Union. Eur Heart J. 2006;27:1610-1619.