CVD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, responsible for nearly a third of all deaths. In US, 85.6 million Americans are living with CVD, including 15.5 million with coronary heart disease (CHD). Heart disease (HD) specifically is responsible for approximately one in every seven American deaths, taking 370,213 lives per year. Perhaps even more striking than CHD’s mortality is its preventability. The CDC estimates that 34% of deaths caused by HD could potentially be prevented with modifiable risk factors including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, smoking, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyle. By comparing the mortality of CVD and CHD in the US, Europe, and the United Kingdom (UK), we aim to gain a better understanding of the CVD burden and economic cost.
Methods: We conducted a literature review of the most recent epidemiological data for US, Europe, and UK to compare mortality due to CVD and CHD between these three regions. Data sources for US include the AHA and CDC. Data for Europe was obtained from the European Society of Cardiology, following the World Health Organization’s definition of 53 states as the European region. The UK is included as it was considered independently in this study. Data for the UK was published by the British Heart Foundation.
Results: The comparison of data shows that high mortality is evident in all represented countries and regions with a highest percent of CVD of total deaths in Europe as compared to US (45% vs 30.8%) and CHD (20% vs 14.2%). Very similar findings according annual mortality are evident comparing US to UK for CVD (30.8% vs 28%) and for CHD (14.2% vs 13%). The treatment for CVD is increasing over time, with prescriptions and operations costs around 6.8 billion in England, the majority spend on secondary care. CDC data in US show that Americans suffer 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes each year, which contributes more than $320 billion in annual healthcare costs and lost productivity. By 2030, this cost is projected to rise to $818 billion, while lost productivity costs to $275 billion.
Conclusions: Although there is some variation between Europe as a group of 53 countries compared to the US and UK, it is clear that CVD has a major impact on mortality in all three regions studied. Improved prevention of CVD, including heart disease, has the potential to save lives around the globe and to reduce economic burden.