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Cardiovascular disease is a major leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and elsewhere. Alterations in mitochondrial function are increasingly being recognized as a contributing factor in myocardial infarction and in patients presenting with cardiomyopathy. Recent understanding of the complex interaction of the mitochondria in regulating metabolism and cell death can provide novel insight and therapeutic targets. The purpose of this statement is to better define the potential role of mitochondria in the genesis of cardiovascular disease such as ischemia and heart failure. To accomplish this, we will define the key mitochondrial processes that play a role in cardiovascular disease that are potential targets for novel therapeutic interventions. This is an exciting time in mitochondrial research. The past decade has provided novel insight into the role of mitochondria function and their importance in complex diseases. This statement will define the key roles that mitochondria play in cardiovascular physiology and disease and provide insight into how mitochondrial defects can contribute to cardiovascular disease; it will also discuss potential biomarkers of mitochondrial disease and suggest potential novel therapeutic approaches.