In 2001, heart disease accounted for approximately 29.0% of deaths among U.S. residents; 16.8% of those deaths occurred among persons aged <65 years. Although mortality rates from heart disease have decreased, the decline has not been uniform for all populations. One of the two overall national health objectives for 2010 is to eliminate health disparities among different segments of the U.S. population. To better understand these disparities, CDC analyzed death certificate data for premature deaths from heart disease occurring in 2001. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that the proportion of premature heart disease deaths varied by state and was higher among blacks, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), Asians/Pacific Islanders (A/PIs), and Hispanics. Reducing premature death from heart disease and eliminating disparities will require preventing, detecting, treating, and controlling risk factors for heart disease in young and middle-aged adults.