Heart Disease and Stroke Cost America Nearly $1 Billion a Day in Medical Costs, Lost Productivity

ATLANTA–Nearly 800,000 Americans die each year from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, accounting for one in every three deaths. Annually, about one in every six U.S. healthcare dollars is spent on cardiovascular disease. By 2030, annual direct medical costs associated with cardiovascular diseases are projected to rise to more than $818 billion, while lost productivity costs could exceed $275 billion. 

Despite the misconception, cardiovascular disease is largely preventable. Business Pulse: Heart Health, launched today by the CDC Foundation, shares how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works to protect Americans’ heart health, a strategy that can improve worker productivity and lower healthcare costs. 

“Americans suffer 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes each year—a burden that contributes to most of the more than $320 billion in annual healthcare costs and lost productivity caused by cardiovascular disease,” said Barbara Bowman, Ph.D., director of CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. “In addition, about 1 in 3 adults—or approximately 86 million people—have at least one type of cardiovascular disease, which means many more Americans could die from what is often preventable through lifestyle changes or managing medical conditions. Employers can help reduce these human and economic costs by providing a heart-healthy workplace environment to support employees’ efforts to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle both inside and outside of work.” 

Business Pulse: Heart Health provides information and practical tools from CDC to help American businesses prevent cardiovascular diseases and promote employees’ health and well-being.  This includes heart-healthy tips and resources offered by Million Hearts®, a five-year national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The initiative brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies and private-sector partners—including employers—to prevent heart attacks and strokes. 

This issue of Business Pulse highlights specific heart health challenges faced by businesses. Business Pulse: Heart Health also features an interactive infographic that provides useful facts and links, along with a question and answer feature and online CDC tools, guidelines and resources. 

Business Pulse: Heart Health is the seventh in a series of quarterly business features created by the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization. Other Business Pulse topics to date include business continuity, safe healthcare, global health security, travelers’ health, flu prevention and healthy workforce.