Searching Trends to Understand Public Interest in First Aid Amid Heart Health Concerns

Searching Trends to Understand Public Interest in First Aid Amid Heart Health Concerns

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 877,000 Americans die of cardiovascular diseases each year. From cardiac ailments to stroke and debilitating heart disorders, there is a growing need for individuals to learn how to best care for their heart health and learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

People often turn to the internet with questions related to their health, and heart health is no exception. Search engines like Google are powerful tools in this regard. An analysis of internet search trends can help reveal the issues that individuals are most interested in when it comes to cardiovascular disease. Such an analysis can also uncover the prevalence of heart health concerns in different regions, states, and segments of the population. 

Additionally, it’s important to understand perceptions of first aid in the context of heart health concerns, given that first aid is capable of saving lives. 

To illuminate the statistics around these pressing concerns in America, we conducted an in-depth analysis of Google search data. As the most popular search engine with 87% of the market share in the U.S., Google’s data contains a wealth of insights.   

While America is searching for answers on heart health risks, understanding first aid, and assessing personal issues, the questions that individuals may pose to Google include: 

  • Other than diet, what else can affect my heart? 
  • Is heart disease, first aid, and CPR related to where I live?
  • Do I need to learn CPR since there are more drowning deaths in my state? 
  • What particular heart disease do I have?  

In this article, we compare search trends with statistics surrounding heart health in America. Here, you’ll discover how our investigation reveals correlations between search queries and cardiovascular issues among the population.      

Key Findings

By examining the search trends across the country about cardiovascular disease over time, we ascertained that Americans are searching online about their heart health. Each state has certain trends in search volume for cardiovascular disease and other types of heart health risks. It’s not certain whether people conduct these searches out of curiosity or concern.

In our investigation of Google search trends in each state, we addressed four primary questions:

  • Which states are the most concerned about heart health?
  • Which states have the highest interest in CPR and first aid?
  • Which states have the highest rates of heart disease?
  • Which states have the highest rates of drowning-related deaths?

What States Are Most Concerned About Heart Health? 

By analyzing cardiovascular-related keywords people use in searches and Google Trends data to determine where the searches originated, we discovered the five most common heart-centric searches and what states were most interested or concerned.

The five most common search terms people use for heart health research are: 

  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack 
  • Cardiovascular disease 


Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. Close to 48% of U.S. adults live with hypertension; of those, 45% have uncontrolled hypertension, which is a blood pressure of 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or higher. 

The top 10 states with people concerned or interested in hypertension are: 

  1. Mississippi: 41%
  2. Louisiana: 40%
  3. Florida: 39%
  4. Texas: 39%
  5. Alabama: 39%
  6. New Mexico: 39% 
  7. Alaska: 39%
  8. Georgia: 38%
  9. South Carolina: 38%
  10. Arkansas: 38% 

A Forbes Advisor study found that, among these top-searching states, some also rank as the least healthy. Four of the top 10 least healthy states are Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. 

Although the correlation between search volume for “hypertension” and heart health is not clear, we could conjecture that lifestyle and environmental issues play roles. For example, Texas consumes the most meat per capita, and Alaska has some of the worst air quality in the country. Poor air quality and excessive meat consumption may not be good for heart health, much like hypertension. 


Close to 800,000 U.S. adults have a stroke each year. Over 76% of those strokes are first-time events. And almost 87% are ischemic, which means the individual experiences a blockage of blood flow to the brain. It is a serious and perilous issue affecting Americans — most of whom live up North. Look at the top 10 states that are the most concerned about strokes and heart health. 

  1. Oregon: 33%
  2. New York: 32%
  3. Illinois: 31%
  4. Massachusetts: 31%
  5. Iowa: 31% 
  6. New Jersey: 31% 
  7. Washington: 31% 
  8. Montana: 31% 
  9. Missouri: 31% 
  10. Michigan: 30% 

The one common denominator in nine of those 10 states is climate and geography — each of the nine northern states on the list has a climate with harsh winters. 

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases found a connection between ischemic stroke hospitalizations and cold weather, which could be telling with these Google Trends and searching “stroke” in those states.

Heart Disease

Among all five searchable terms related to heart health, “heart disease” was the least popular search term across the country. In fact, it was the only term that did not surpass 8% among a tight three-percentage range — 5 to 7%. 

The minimal amount of national searches for “heart disease” may be because more than half of U.S. adults don’t know that it is the leading cause of death across the country. This ignorance is striking since it has been the top reason for death for the past century. 

The top 10 states that are the most interested in learning about heart disease are: 

  1. Nevada: 20%
  2. New Hampshire: 19%
  3. Wyoming: 18%
  4. Kentucky: 18%
  5. Maine: 18%
  6. Colorado: 17%
  7. Idaho: 17%
  8. Delaware: 17%
  9. West Virginia: 17%
  10. Ohio: 17%

Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the United States since 1921. Today, there are over 1,900 U.S. deaths from heart disease each day, 55 of which are from “sudden cardiac arrest,” according to the American Heart Association. Yet, 51% of Americans think the top cause of death in the states is something else other than heart disease. 

According to the AHA, in 2021, if heart disease deaths were added to stroke deaths (the fifth leading cause of death nationally), there would be more reports of dying than “all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease” combined. 

Heart Attack

From February 2023 to February 2024, Nevada was the top state to show concern about heart attacks and the only one to hit 20% search volume for “heart attack.” While there is no hard fact why Nevada leads the nation in search volume for “heart attack,” the same may be said for the remainder of the top 10 states in the U.S. 

  • Nevada: 20% (32)
  • New Hampshire: 19% (41)
  • Wyoming: 18% (51)
  • Maine: 18% (42)
  • Kentucky: 18% (26)
  • West Virginia: 17% (39)
  • Delaware: 17% (45)
  • Idaho: 17% (38)
  • Indiana: 17% (17)
  • Colorado: 17% (21)

Eight of the top 10 states have something remotely common — rural population. While there is no empirical data connecting those searches and states, one deduction to be made is that living in a predominantly rural population could have a peripheral effect on heart attacks. Possibly, it’s the ability to render first aid. 

Except for Indiana and Colorado, the top 10 states worried about heart attacks, as reflected in their searches, are all in the bottom half of populated states — four are in the bottom 10. This time, the states are noted below with their population rank in parentheses. 

(Note: Wyoming is number “51” with only 584,000 residents because the District of Columbia is included at number 49, with 678,000 residents.)

  • Nevada: 20% (32)
  • New Hampshire: 19% (41)
  • Wyoming: 18% (51)
  • Maine: 18% (42)
  • Kentucky: 18% (26)
  • West Virginia: 17% (39)
  • Delaware: 17% (45)
  • Idaho: 17% (38)
  • Indiana: 17% (17)
  • Colorado: 17% (21)

Cardiovascular Disease

Only four percentage points separate all 50 states and the District of Columbia, ranging from 11 to 15% of residents searching for “cardiovascular disease.” According to the CDC, “one person dies every 33 seconds” from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Regrettably, the disease is much more common than the search activity. 

To make that metric even more harrowing, close to half of Americans (48.6%) struggle with CVD. Inside those percentages are various types, each posing a greater threat to humanity. 

A 2023 report from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shared that over 12 years (2010 to 2022), there were nearly 11 million CVD deaths — 75.6% from heart disease and 16.9% from stroke. In only the last two years of this report (2020 to 2022), the death rate increased by 9% compared to the preceding 10 years.  

Overall, CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States. These are the top 10 states that are seeking to find out more about cardiovascular disease online: 

  1. District of Columbia: 15% 
  2. Rhode Island: 15%
  3. North Dakota: 14%
  4. Vermont: 14%
  5. Montana: 14%
  6. Virginia: 14%
  7. New Hampshire: 14% 
  8. California: 14%
  9. North Carolina: 14% 
  10. Hawaii: 14%

What States Have the Highest Interest in CPR and First Aid? 

Cardiac arrests and heart attacks can happen anywhere at any time. That means everyone can benefit from learning more about cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is of particular concern, since people who have a heart attack at home or elsewhere may not receive medical care in the critical moments following the incident. According to a study published in the journal Critical Care, there are 55 OHCAs per 100,000 people worldwide each year, and survival rates for these incidents can be lower than 1%. 

Individuals can benefit from learning CPR, which they can administer when an OHCA cardiac arrest occurs, potentially saving lives. According to the Critical Care study, survival rates for those who received CPR from a bystander were as high as 13.2%. 

However, just as certain states research heart health more than others, some places in the U.S. are particularly interested in learning about CPR and first aid. Based on the same formula of Google Trends and regional search data, we were able to gain some insight into which states are most interested in those subjects.


When researching the states actively seeking more information about cardiopulmonary resuscitation, 21 of 50 states (43%) had a search interest higher than 70%. CPR training is critical because cardiac events aren’t planned and usually don’t happen around trained medical professionals. Because every minute counts, CPR knowledge could save someone’s life. 

The top 10 states most interested in learning more about CPR training are: 

  1. Indiana: 75%
  2. Massachusetts: 75%
  3. Florida: 74%
  4. Michigan: 74%
  5. Louisiana: 73%
  6. Maryland: 73%
  7. Texas: 73%
  8. Missouri: 73%
  9. Tennessee: 73%
  10. South Carolina: 73%

Given that 20.9% of Florida residents are aged 65 and over, the online search interest in that state is a good sign, since individuals over 65 are at a higher risk of experiencing cardiac arrest. 

Another good note found in our research is that no state’s search interest in CPR is below Alaska’s mark of 60%. The national average is 69%, and increasing as people get older and residents become more accountable for each other. Taking an interest in learning CPR is valuable and easy to do. Hopefully, this level of search interest will continue. 
One more note on the search interest here: part of it could stem from the necessity to renew CPR certification. For medical professionals, it’s essential, while others can benefit from recertification to keep themselves fresh.

First Aid 

From February 2023 to February 2024, there was a nearly 22% difference in search interest for CPR compared to first aid among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While Alaska was the state with the lowest search interest in CPR, Alaskans had the highest number of searches for “first aid,” at 40%. 

The top 10 states most interested in learning about first aid are as follows:

  1. Alaska: 40%
  2. New York: 39%
  3. Utah: 39%
  4. Vermont: 39%
  5. Montana: 37%
  6. Maine: 36%
  7. New Hampshire: 36%
  8. Washington State: 36%
  9. Idaho: 35%
  10. Kansas: 35%

A 2023 poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that only half of respondents feel prepared to help someone in a medical emergency. Fifty-five percent did feel as though they could perform CPR, but fewer felt as though they could perform first aid activities. This includes moving someone to a safer location (47%), applying a tourniquet (46%), and using an automatic external defibrillator (29%).

The findings of this poll seem to align with the search data, with greater knowledge of and interest in CPR rather than first aid. However, it’s vital to learn both CPR and first aid to be prepared to intervene in emergencies and save lives.

What States Have the Highest Rate of Heart Disease and Other Related Deaths?

The CDC remains on top of this research because heart disease can potentially affect anyone. The average national death rate for heart disease and stroke is 319.5 deaths per every 100,000 Americans. The top 10 states with cardiac-related deaths for every 100,000 citizens were: 

  1. Oklahoma: 478 
  2. Mississippi: 468 
  3. Alabama: 452 
  4. Arkansas: 438 
  5. Louisiana: 428 
  6. Tennessee: 411 
  7. West Virginia: 398 
  8. Kentucky: 398 
  9. Nevada: 393 
  10. Michigan: 393  

Source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Those numbers are frightening. If we include American territories (such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), Guam would skyrocket to the top of the list at 571 people dying of heart health issues per 100,000 citizens. Most states are in the South despite the Western Pacific island, so why is geography a common denominator? The University of Alabama at Birmingham explored the health and diets of 1.3 million adults with diverse backgrounds. 

The clinical research team looked closely at the causes of various cardiovascular diseases, including exercise, diet, habits, and obesity. Their findings align with the CDC’s medical research, which shows that the Southern states have the worst cardiovascular health. 

One of the study's authors said, “Only one in six Americans has ideal cardiovascular health. This is worse for Southern states, where the prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health is only one in 10 persons.” The lack of physical activity and disinterest in a healthy diet were common in the South, which led to those numbers leading the nation.

What States Have the Highest Rate of Drowning-Related Deaths?

According to the World Health Organization, “Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide.” About 236,000 people die by drowning each year. 

Closer to home, 3,500 to 4,000 people drown every year — that’s 10 each day across the U.S. This could happen in your backyard — 23% of child drownings occur “during a family gathering near a pool.” 

Two states where more than 75% of the borders are coastal — Alaska and Hawaii — lead the nation in drowning rates with 4.4 and 3.34 drownings per 100,000 people each year, respectively. The top 10 list below illustrates that the more the coastline or lakefront property is present, the more drowning risk exists. The numbers for each state represent the number of annual drowning deaths per 100,000 people.

  1. Alaska: 4.40
  2. Hawaii: 3.34 
  3. Montana: 2.32
  4. Louisiana: 2.31
  5. Florida: 2.07
  6. Arkansas: 1.88
  7. Mississippi: 1.85
  8. Oklahoma: 1.75
  9. Idaho: 1.71
  10.  Oregon: 1.66


Since you can use CPR to save someone’s life when you pull them out of the water, it’s of particular concern that Florida is the only state on this list that is in the top 10 for CPR searches. Ultimately, these states may benefit from public health campaigns that emphasize the importance of CPR for mitigating drowning deaths. 

Analysis and Findings

By investigating the words Americans use to find information about heart health risks and cardiovascular disease, we can see what’s on the minds of people around us. Regardless of culture, job, or address, health concerns are universal. Search trends make those broad, encompassing concerns specific. 

Each person has a story, a need, and a face. These trends reveal why people search for what they do about cardiovascular disease and heart health. They provide an understanding of regional thoughts and personal fears. Some of the key facts we deducted include: 

  • The average state search interest for CPR and first aid is 69%, which underscores the need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation training
  • Seven of the top 10 states with the worst heart health are Southern states, due to poor dietary habits and sedentary activity.   
  • Similarly, the top eight states with the most hypertension search interest are in the Gulf Coast. 
  • Geography can be a factor in heart health, as shown in the top eight states leading the nation in strokes — all are Northern states with frigid winters.  
  • States with large amounts of coastline or lakefront lead the nation in drowning deaths. 


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The methodology used in the analysis of this report involves examining Google search trends data related to heart health across different states. We analyzed search terms like hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease to understand public interest and concerns. We also looked at state-specific search volumes & compared them with national health statistics on heart disease, CPR awareness, and drowning incidents. This approach helped identify correlations between online search behavior & heart health concerns in various regions.