Tobacco Policy

Cardiovascular Disease Costs Expected to Triple


by Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Tobacco Control

American Heart Association Says Expect $550B Increase in Heart Disease Costs

American Heart Assocation released a report yesterday at a National Press Club briefing that found the cost of treating cardiovascular diseases is expected to triple over the next 20 years from $270B to $818B. According to AHA CEO Nancy Brown, “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”. For a copy of the news release — http://www.newsroom.heart.org/index.php?s=43&item=1241, and the full report — http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIR.0b013e31820a55f5v1.

I’m hoping folk put this together with the news from the landmark IOM secondhand smoke report a year ago (showing 1/5 of heart attacks disappear if you simply pass clean air laws*) and keep the momentum up for clean air advocacy.

It seems like nothing talks like the dollar right now, and considering there’s been pushback against health care reform (which has been the main driver of prevention v. medical care shift), every inch of information that comes out showing prevention is cheaper than later medical care is welcome news.

*Thanks for our buddies at Advocates for a Healthier America for this news.
**This is still the biggest single health effect I’ve had a chance to witness in all my years as a public health professional.

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