Top Things to Know: Forecasting the Economic Burden of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in the United States through 2050

Published: June 04, 2024

  1. High prevalence of cardiovascular disease and stroke (CVDS) in the United States (US) remains an important driver of health care costs that is projected to increase significantly in the years ahead. As such, quantifying the economic burden of CVDS in US adults from 2020 through 2050 may be helpful for policy development, health system planning, and community-level interventions for CVD prevention and treatment.
  2. The economic burden of CVD is substantial, and it involves the cost related to treatment of CVD (direct cost), and cost from loss of economic productivity due to morbidity and premature mortality (indirect cost). The loss in productivity can be especially high in young people with CVD.
  3. For cardiovascular conditions, annual health care costs are projected to almost quadruple from $393 billion to $1490 billion between 2020 and 2050, and productivity losses are projected to increase by 54%, from $234 billion to $361 billion. Stroke is projected to account for the largest absolute increase in health care costs by 2050.
  4. Several factors are driving the projected increase in costs associated with treatment of CVDS such as (a) trends in prevalences of obesity, diabetes, and uncontrolled blood pressure; (b) aging population with higher number of older adults living with cardiovascular risk factors or CVDS; (c) higher racial diversification with marked increases in the number of individuals from historically disenfranchised or excluded populations, some of whom have a higher burden of CVD.
  5. The health care costs attributable to cardiovascular risk factors among US adults is projected to increase substantially. The costs attributed to hypertension and diabetes are projected to increase significantly while those due to hypercholesterolemia will increase to a smaller extent between 2020 and 2050.
  6. Concerning CVD, the projected change in total costs varies by type of CVDS as the costs of coronary heart disease (CHD) will increase, while those due to stroke will increase even more significantly. Compared to CHD and heart failure (HF), stroke is projected to have the largest absolute increase in total costs.
  7. Although, it is projected that the cost of CVD will increase among all age groups, patterns will differ slightly among different age groups with the greatest increases expected to be observed in the youngest and oldest U.S. adults.
  8. There is also variation in cost of CVD by gender. While women are projected to have lower health care spending than men in both 2020 and 2050, the projected increase over this time frame is greater for women than men.
  9. CVD-related costs are also projected to increase in all racial or ethnic subgroups. However, spending among Asian non-Hispanic populations and Hispanic populations are expected to increase significantly between 2020 and 2050.
  10. Well-informed projections of the economic burden of CVD are a crucial step in formulating policy on CVD prevention and treatment and these projections underscore the call for major investments in CVD prevention to control costs and create more equitable health outcomes.


Kazi DS, Elkind MSV, Deutsch A, Dowd WN, Heidenreich P, Khavjou O, Mark D, Mussolino ME, Ovbiagele B, Patel SS, Poudel R, Weittenhiller B, Powell-Wiley TM, Joynt Maddox KE; on behalf of the American Heart Association. Forecasting the economicburden of cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States through 2050: apresidential advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Published online June 4, 2024. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001258