Cost for treating heart disease expected to soar in U.S.

Published: 25/01/2011 05:00



There will be a dramatic increase
in the cost for treating heart disease and stroke in the United States mainly
due to the aging of population, according to a report released on Monday.

In the next 20 years, the cost for
treating heart disease and stroke is expected to rise from 273 billion dollars
annually to 818 billion, said the report from the American Heart Association (

Right now, 36.9 percent of Americans
have some type of heart disease, including high blood pressure, coronary heart
disease, heart failure, stroke and other conditions, according to the report
published in the Jan. 24 online edition of Circulation.

By 2030, that number will rise to
40.5 percent of the population, or about 116 million people, said the report.

The biggest increases are thought to
be in stroke, up 24.9 percent, and heart failure, up 25 percent.

Between 2010 and 2030, the cost of
caring for patients with heart disease will increase by 545 billion dollars, the
report predicted.

In addition, heart disease will cost
billions more in lost productivity, increasing from about 172 billion in 2010 to
276 billion in 2030. These losses include days missed from work or home tasks
because of illness, plus lost earnings due to premature death, according to the

“The burden of heart disease and
stroke on the U.S. health care system will be substantial and will limit our
ability to care for the U.S. population unless we can take steps now to prevent
cardiovascular disease,” AHA chair Dr. Paul Heidenreich said. ” Cost of care
will grow markedly unless we can either reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular
disease or find less expensive ways to deliver current care.”

AHA CEO Nancy Brown said in a news
release that in addition to population aging, “unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy
environments have contributed to a tidal wave of risk factors among many

“Early intervention and
evidence-based public policies are absolute musts to significantly reduce
alarming rates of obesity, hypertension, tobacco use and cholesterol levels,” he

To reduce the risk for heart disease
and stroke, the AHA recommends the following steps:

– Cut salt intake;

– Keep blood pressure and
cholesterol under control; and

– Stop smoking and maintain a
healthy lifestyle, which means eating a healthy diet, getting exercise and
keeping your weight down.

These strategies have been proven to
substantially reduce the risk of heart disease, the AHA said.


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