Heart disease could cost U.S. $1 trillion a year by 2035

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Heart disease is increasing at a troubling pace in the United States, with costs expected to double from $555 billion in 2016 to a whopping $1.1 trillion in 2035, a new American Heart Association report estimates.

“Our new projections indicate cardiovascular disease is on a course that could bankrupt our nation’s economy and health care system,” said AHA President Steven Houser. He’s also associate dean of research at Temple University in Philadelphia.

By 2035, 45 percent of the total U.S. population — about 131 million people — will have at least one health problem related to heart disease, the AHA report projected.

Heart disease is spreading much more quickly than previously estimated, Houser said at a news conference.

The last time the AHA performed these calculations, in 2011, researchers projected that by 2030 about 40 percent of the United States would have some form of heart disease.

“We were incorrect,” Houser said. “We reached that benchmark in 2015 — almost 15 years sooner than we anticipated.”

In 2015, about 41.5 percent of the U.S. population had at least one heart-related health problem, said the report, titled Cardiovascular Disease: A Costly Burden for America.

The AHA’s previous projections underestimated the impact of America’s ongoing obesity epidemic on the nation’s heart health.

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