Heart disease expenses will rise more than half a trillion in 20 years

Feb 07, 2011

Cardiac care costs to soar

The cost of paying for heart disease treatment in the U.S. will triple by the year 2030, the American Heart Association stated recently.

More than 100 million Americans, by that time, will suffer from a range of heart ailments, including stroke, high blood pressure and heart attacks, the association said. The aging of the baby boom generation is a major contributor to those increased rates, since older people are more susceptible to those conditions.

The association's CEO, Nancy Brown, says environmental and lifestyle factors are also heavily to blame, and argues that the government should step in.

"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," she said.

Even now, the AHA says, 17 percent of all healthcare costs in the U.S. are paid for heart disease treatment.

The study has broad implications for a number of industries beyond healthcare, including life insurance, experts say.

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