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Aging Drives Up Heart-Related Healthcare Costs

Posted May 28 2013 10:07pm
Posted on May 27, 2013, 6 a.m. in Demographics Cardio-Vascular Healthcare and Public Policy

Heart failure stems from a variety of other cardiac diseases such as hypertension or coronary artery disease that can stress the heart and cause it to stop working. Fatigue and trouble breathing are key signs.  The costs linked to heart failure in the United States are expected to more than double within the next two decades as the population ages and treatments help patients with the disease live longer.  In its Policy Statement titled “Forecasting the Impact of Heart Failure in the United States,” the American Heart Association predicts that the number of Americans with the fatal condition will grow to 8 million in 2030 from about 5 million in 2012. The costs to treat them will rise to $53 billion from $21 billion.  If indirect costs related to heart failure are included, such as lost productivity and wages when patients become too sick to work, the total costs jump to $70 billion from $31 billion over the 18-year period.  Writing that: “The estimated prevalence and cost of care for HF will increase markedly because of aging of the population,” the study authors warn that: “If one assumes all costs of cardiac care for [heart failure] patients are attributable to [heart failure] (no cost attribution to comorbid conditions), the 2030 projected cost estimates of treating patients with [heart failure] will be 3-fold higher ($160 billion in direct costs).”  By 2030, every US taxpayer could be paying $244 each year for heart failure expenses. 

Paul A. Heidenreich, Nancy M. Albert, Larry A. Allen, David A. Bluemke, Javed Butler, Justin G. Trogdon, et al.  “Forecasting the Impact of Heart Failure in the United States: A Policy Statement From the American Heart Association.”  Circ Heart Fail., April 24 2013.

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Tip #168 - Activity Trumps Anxiety
A 50-year long study suggests that men and women who are physically active, emotionally calm, and organized may live longer than people with less positive personality traits such as anxiousness, anger, or fearfulness. Researchers from the National Institute of Aging (Maryland, USA) assessed personality traits among 2,359 generally healthy people who enrolled in 1958 in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. The team found that those men and women who scored above average in measures of general activity, emotional stability, or conscientiousness lived an average of 2 to 3 years longer than those who scored below average.

Stay active and energetic, emotionally stable, and organized, disciplined, and resourceful. Not only are these the traits of professional and personal success, they might also help add years to your life.

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