The incidence of cardiovascular disease appears to grow in the United States by leaps and bounds. A new American Heart Association report estimates that heart disease costs would also increase from $555 billion in 2016 to $1.1 trillion in 2035.
Nearly Half Of U.S. Population To Have A Form Of Heart Disease-Related Health Problem
By 2035, the AHA report projected that 45 percent, or nearly half of the total population in the United States, will have some form of health problem associated with heart disease.
AHA President Steven Houser said that the projection indicates that heart disease is on a course that can potentially bankrupt the health care system and economy of the country, noting that the disease is spreading faster than previously estimated.
In 2011, when AHA last made similar calculations, researchers projected that about 40 percent of the U.S. population would have a form of heart disease by 2030. It turned out that the estimates were incorrect. Houser said that Americans reached this benchmark in 2015, or 15 years earlier than anticipated.
In 2015, Americans already exceeded the 2011 projection as 41.5 percent of the population had one form of heart-related health problem.
The latest projection estimates that by 2035, there would be 123.2 million Americans with high blood pressure, 24 million with coronary heart disease, 11.2 million suffering from stroke and 7.2 million with atrial fibrillation, a condition marked by irregular and rapid heart rate that can raise risks for heart failure, stroke and other cardiovascular complications.
The study also found that the risk for heart disease will rise to 50 percent as individuals turn 45 years old and will jump to 80 percent at age 65. Black Americans will have the highest rate of heart disease by 2035 followed by Hispanics. Men will also suffer from heart disease at greater risk than women.
Obesity Epidemic And Lifestyle Factors
The previous projection underestimated the effect of the obesity epidemic on the heart health of the nation. The report, Cardiovascular Disease: A Costly Burden for America, blamed unhealthy lifestyle for the increasing incidence of heart disease in the country citing poor diet, the obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes, which are all risk factors for stroke and heart disease.
"Cardiovascular disease has been the No. 1 killer of Americans since 1920. Your great-grandparents or another member of your family tree probably died from it. What's more disturbing, however, is your great-grandchildren could die from CVD, too, if we don't take deliberate and focused action now," the report reads.
Rising Costs As Heart Disease Becomes More Prevalent
The total costs across all conditions are estimated to more than triple among those aged 80 or older. Costs are also anticipated to more than double among those between 65 and 79 years old.
The United States will shell out $749 billion in direct medical costs to treat heart-related diseases by 2035, which is more than double the $318 billion currently spent per year. Indirect costs linked to lost productivity, on the other hand, are estimated to increase by 55 percent, which will raise the costs from $237 billion today to $368 billion in 2035.