Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and disability in the developed countries. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), CVD claims more lives in the US than the next four leading causes of death combined, which include cancer, respiratory disease, accidents, and diabetes. In the US, more than 1,200,000 people suffer heart attacks each year. Risk factors such as obesity and diabetes are on the rise, which is expected to increase the death rate from CVD in the coming years . These adverse health trends are observed in other developed countries and in the rapidly growing middle classes of emerging economy countries.
AHA Statistics on Cardiovascular Disease
- 1 in 3 adults in the US carries some form of CVD.
- Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the single largest killer in the US, causing 450,000 deaths annually.
- About every 26 seconds, an American suffers a coronary event and about every minute someone dies from it.
- More than half of those who die from sudden CHD have no prior symptoms.
- The direct cost for treatment of heart disease in the US exceeds $156 billion annually.
- More than 1,300,000 inpatient cardiac catheterization procedures are performed in the US each year.
AHA estimates the cost of cardiovascular diseases and stroke in the US during 2008 at $448.5 billion. This figure includes direct medical costs and indirect costs associated with lost productivity.
Cardiac procedures are costly and typically invasive. Early diagnosis and prevention – through better yet less expensive diagnostic procedures – are vital to improving care and reducing healthcare costs.