Atherosclerosis and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Disease: The Cold Facts of Hard Arteries A look at the numbers for coronary artery disease is enough to give anyone chest pain:

  • More than 15,800,000 Americans have known coronary artery disease.
  • About 8 million of them have had heart attacks.
  • Around 500,000 people will die of coronary artery disease this year. More than a million will have a heart attack.
  • One-third of all deaths in Americans older than 35 are due to coronary artery disease.
  • After age 40, about 50% of men and one-third of women can expect to eventually have coronary artery disease.

Millions more people have atherosclerosis that is severe, but has yet to cause


The death rate from coronary artery disease is higher in men than in women. After menopause, though, women's rates rise but they never completely catch up with men. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women, just as in men.