The 5 States Most, Least Affected by Heart Disease and Deaths in Women

February 4, 2022
Kevin Kunzmann

In commemoration of Wear Red Day, here's a breakdown of how US regions differ in cardiovascular disease burden among women.

The significance of National Wear Red Day is to annually draw attention, discourse, and action toward the persistent national burdens of cardiovascular disease on women. Indeed, as highlighted throughout HCPLive’s daily coverage and gathered insights on the issue, heart disease is a simultaneously overwhelming and vastly under-addressed disease among at-risk women in the US.

“We know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women,” Marcia Klein-Patel, MD, Chair of the Allegheny Health Network Women’s Institute, told HCPLive. “But there’s an underrepresentation of females in those clinical trials, which widens that sex gap in mortality.”

As is the case for may chronic diseases and potentially fatal events, significant disparities in women heart disease prevalence and mortality exist among the regions of the US. With data courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here is a look at the states most and and least affected by heart disease among its women residents.

Heart Disease Deaths Among Women

Southern states are significantly impacted by mortality among adult women with heart disease; in some cases, states including Oklahoma and Mississippi report twice as as many average annual deaths per capita than lesser-burdened states.

Most Affected, Heart Disease Deaths, Women Aged ≥35, 2017-19

  • Oklahoma: 363 per 100,000
  • Mississippi: 341 per 100,000
  • Arkansas: 339 per 100,000
  • Alabama: 338 per 100,000
  • Louisiana: 324 per 100,000

Least Affected, Heart Disease Deaths, Women Aged ≥35, 2017-19

  • Hawaii: 168 per 100,000
  • Minnesota: 174 per 100,000
  • Alaska: 190 per 100,000
  • Colorado: 193 per 100,000
  • Massachusetts: 195 per 100,000

Heart Disease Hospitalizations Among Women

Again, various southern states are among the most impacted states in women hospitalized due to cardiovascular disease per capita; Hawaii remained the least-impacted state in both deaths and hospitalizations.

Most Affected, Cardiovascular Disease Hospitalizations, Women Medicare Beneficiaries Aged ≥65, 2016-18

  • West Virginia: 73 per 1000
  • Michigan: 67.6 per 1000
  • Kentucky: 66.9 per 1000
  • Louisiana: 64.0 per 1000
  • Ohio: 62.6 per 1000

Least Affected, Cardiovascular Disease Hospitalizations, Women Medicare Beneficiaries Aged ≥65, 2016-18

  • Hawaii: 28.2 per 1000
  • Utah: 33.2 per 1000
  • Idaho: 34.3 per 1000
  • Montana: 35.2 per 1000
  • Colorado: 35.9 per 1000

Decade-long Improvements

Strides are being made, though some more great than others. Per the CDC, every state reported improvements in women heart disease deaths per capita in the last decade of available data—pointing to the value of continued awareness and fundraising campaigns surrounding events including Wear Read Day.

Most Improved, Heart Disease Deaths, Women Aged ≥35, 2016-18 vs 2006-08

  • New York: -24.52% (346.9 per 100,000 vs 459.6 per 100,000)
  • Massachusetts: -23.54% (273.8 per 100,000 vs 358.1 per 100,000)
  • California: -23.19% (316.3 per 100,000 vs 411.8 per 100,000)
  • Wyoming: -22.44% (312.5 per 100,000 vs 402.9 per 100,000)
  • Rhode Island: -22.44% (311.5 per 100,000 vs 401.6 per 100,000)

Least Improved, Heart Disease Deaths, Women Aged ≥35, 2016-18 vs 2006-08

  • Utah: -5.39% (340.5 per 100,00 vs 359.9 per 100,000)
  • Montana: -8.44% (327.6 per 100,000 vs 357.8 per 100,000)
  • Nevada: -9.44% (391.4 per 100,000 vs 357.8 per 100,00)
  • South Dakota: -9.64% (319.7 per 100,000 vs 353.8 per 100,000)
  • Idaho: -10.61% (336.2 per 100,000 vs 376.1 per 100,000)

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