Heart Disease Costs Expected to Triple by 2030
A policy statement by the American Heart Association was published today stating that healthcare costs relating to heart disease and stroke are expected to triple in the U.S. over the next 20 years.
The projected numbers could reach $818 billion between 2010 and 2030, a $545 billion increase from the current costs of treating heart disease and stroke.
Dr. Paul Heidenreic, a chair of the American Heart Association says, "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.”
It is estimated that 36.9 percent of Americans have some type of heart disease. Heart disease includes such conditions as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. This number is projected to rise 40.5 percent, or 116 million people, by the year 2030.
"Unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy environments have contributed to a tidal wave of risk factors among many Americans. Early intervention and evidence-based public policies are absolute musts to significantly reduce alarming rates of obesity, hypertension, tobacco use and cholesterol levels," states American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.
Programs to combat the growing number of heart related conditions will need to be increased, and become a higher priority, to reverse the current trending pattern in health care costs. The panel says that "effective prevention strategies are needed if we are to limit the growing burden of cardiovascular disease."
Prevention, in the form of lifestyle changes, is the still the best strategy for thwarting heart disease before it happens. Exercise, healthy nutrition, quitting (or never starting) smoking, and stress reduction are all examples of healthy initiatives for the heart.
Visit the American Heart Associations website for more detailed recommendations for getting healthy: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/GettingHealthy_UCM_001078_SubHomePage.jsp