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AHA Statement: Costs to Treat Stroke in U.S. May Double by 2030

Highest stroke incidence expected in people aged 45 to 64 years (May 22)

By 2030, costs to treat stroke are projected to more than double, and the number of people having strokes may increase 20%, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

In a statement published in Stroke, an AHA journal, the association cites the aging U.S. population as the main reason for the increases and predicts that by 2030:

  • Almost 4% of U.S. adults will have a stroke. This translates into an additional 3.4 million people with stroke in 2030.
  • Costs to treat stroke may increase from $71.55 billion in 2010 to $183.13 billion.
  • Annual costs due to lost productivity could rise from $33.65 billion to $56.54 billion.
  • Americans currently 45 to 64 years old are expected to have the highest increase in stroke, at 5.1%.
  • The prevalence of stroke is projected to increase the most among Hispanic men between now and 2030, and the cost of treating stroke in Hispanic women is expected to triple.

“Strokes will absolutely strain the health care system,” said Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MSc, professor and chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

Caring for survivors is expensive because stroke can cause long-term disability, he said.

“Ninety percent of stroke patients have residual disability, and only 10% recover completely after a stroke,” Ovbiagele said. “Policy makers at all levels of governance should be aware of this looming crisis so that we can consider practical ways to avert it.”

Hispanics and blacks have a higher rate of stroke and worse outcomes, and individuals without insurance have a 24% to 56% higher risk of death from stroke than have those with insurance coverage, the statement said.

Stroke rates are particularly high among people aged 45 to 64 years, who are too young to receive Medicare, less able to afford medications, and more likely to have diabetes and obesity compared with older stroke survivors, Ovbiagele said.

Source: AHA; May 22, 2013.

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