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World Heart Federation: Economic impact: Heart disease and stroke – cardiovascular disease – are expensive for the world. In 2003, cardiovascular disease cost the European Union €169 billion.1 The most up to date data from the United States of America shows that cardiovascular disease costs nearly €310.23 billion in direct and indirect annual costs.2 By comparison, the estimated cost of all cancers is €146.19 billion and HIV infections, €22.24billion.2

The economic burden of heart diseaseis no longer confined to the affluent, industrialized world. With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, cardiovascular diseaseis the leading causeof death in the developing world.3 Its rise is linked to the increase in prevalence of risk factors such as tobacco use and relative lack of accessto interventions to managing the ensuing disease.3

The economic impact is felt both as a cost to the country’s health system as well as the loss of income and production of those affected either directly by the diseaseand as caregivers to those with cardiovascular disease,who ceaseto work.3 This is exacerbated in the developing world where cardiovascular diseaseaffects a high proportion of working-age adults.3

In China, annual direct costs are estimated at €30.76billion or 4%percent of gross national income.3 In South Africa, 25%of the country’s health care spending is devoted to cardiovascular disease.4

Cardiovascular disease as a threat to economic stability

The economic implications of cardiovascular disease are vast. In developing countries, heart diseasehas historically affected the more educated and higher socioeconomic groups, but this ischanging.5

What researchers are finding is that in developing countries cardiovascular disease disproportionately affects working-age adults from lower socioeconomic groups.4,5 Also, people from lower socioeconomic groups fare worse if they develop heart disease; their mortality after a heart attack is higher than someone from a high socioeconomic group.5

This has led researchers to claim that if the global epidemic of heart disease continues it will

have an impact on the viability of a number of countries’ economies.4 Already, researchers estimate that between the developing economies of Brazil, India, China, South Africa, and Mexico, 21 million years of future productive life are lost each year because of cardiovascular disease.

Impacto económico de las enfermedades cardiovasculares  

Con este documento, elaborado por la World Heart Association, podemos hacernos una idea de la gran repercusión económica tienen estas enferm...

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