According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.5% of men 20 years and older are obese and 32.6% either have high blood pressure or are taking prescriptions for hypertension.
Unfortunately, though the health issues pertaining to hypertension are concerning, so too are the financial costs.
According CardioVascular Business, hypertensive patients are spending around $2,000 or more each year in annual healthcare expenditures. Patients with high blood pressure, compared to non-hypertensive individuals, have 2.5 times more in inpatient expenses, double the outpatient expenses, and nearly triple the amount of prescription medication costs.
“Hypertension is recognized as a tremendous threat to medical and financial health,” said, Elizabeth B. Kirkland, MD, MSCR, assistant professor of internal medicine at Medical University of South Carolina. “National medical costs associated with hypertension account for about $131 billion, or over 3 percent of the $3 trillion U.S. national healthcare expenditure. While the incremental cost associated with hypertension for U.S. adults has remained steady around $2,000 per year, it is promising that expenditures seem to be shifting from inpatient to outpatient settings.”
However, according to Healio, the new lower definition of high blood pressure will actually increase the number of adults with hypertension, but could actually decrease the average cost of hypertension for individual patients while increasing the overall societal costs of hypertension.
Researchers took a look at 224,920 patients from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Household Components (2003 to 2014), which included self-reported estimates of expenditures, health care use, insurance coverage, and source of coverage. Of all the patients who participated in the study, 36.9% had hypertension. During that 12-year period, the mean annual medical expenditure for hypertension patients was $9,089.
“This may reflect the expansion of preventative care services for millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act,” added Kirkland. “As overall U.S. health care costs continue to rise, it is imperative that we identify effective strategies to improve control of chronic diseases that are associated with high annual expenditures.”