Heart Facts

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.  More than 1 in 4 people die of heart disease every year.
  2. Heart surgery or treatment can cost from $30,000 to over $450,000 for a single procedure.
  3. On average, 50% of heart patients and their families make less than $50,000/year
  4. Therefore, the majority of heart patients and their families will need financial and emotional support.
  5. We believe that anyone going through cardiac procedures should have access to top medical care regardless of their financial situation.

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What is Heart Disease?

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Heart disease or cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.  If you have CVD, become an active participant in your care by living a healthier and more active life.

Cardiovascular disease includes a number of conditions affecting the structures or function of the heart. They can include:

*Source:  http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/diseases-cardiovascular


Heart Statistics

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Did you know that:

  • More than 1 in 4 people in the United States die of heart disease.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease.
  • Every year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack. Another 470,000 who have already had one or more heart attacks have another attack.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian Americans, heart disease is second only to cancer.
  • In 2010, heart disease cost the United States $316.4 billion. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

*Source: http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm


Cost of Heart Surgeries and Treatments

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There are a number of factors responsible for determining the cost of a heart surgery or treatment. Costs vary between patients and among various procedures, however in virtually all instances they constitute a tremendous financial burden to patients and their families. By the time they are in dire need of financial help, many have already experienced astronomical medical bills.

Although some immense costs can sometimes be defrayed by insurance coverage and other funding sources, the remaining portion, including housing and everyday living expenses, remains inaccessibly high for most cardiac patients and their families.


Average costs of common heart surgeries before insurance

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**These cost estimates do not include pre-surgery medical costs, post-surgery medical costs or cost of medication.

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery – $136,360
  • Heart Valve Replacement Surgery – $131,399
  • Angioplasty Procedure – $55,025
  • Pacemaker Procedures – $30,723
  • Heart Transplant – $451,349 (this does not include the cost of pre-transplant costs, post-transplant costs, or procurement of organ)

**Source: Heart Grades Medical Cost Report – http://www.healthgrades.com/consumer/index.cfm?fuseaction=mod&modtype=hospitals&modact=mcc_available
**Healthcare costs can vary by region. The cost estimates are based on the Northeast region.


Average Income of Heart Patients and their Families

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According to the CDC, poverty level was inversely associated with heart disease (any type), hypertension, and stroke. Adults in families that were poor or near poor were more likely to have ever been told they had these conditions than were adults in families that were not poor
* http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_249.pdf

Based on a survey we conducted at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Columbia, here is the breakdown of income levels of admitted heart patients (out of 100%).

  • Under $50,000 — 50%
  • $50,001 – $75,000 — 25%
  • $75,001 – $100,000 — 24%
  • $100,001 and above — 1%



“We absolutely appreciate the gift we received today in the mail. I was able to use the funds to cover some of our heating expenses and also get the boys some warmer jackets. Thank you so much!”

Leslie Lopez (mother of two heart transplant survivors), February 2011