Cardiovascular disease (CVD), in all of its forms, is the number one killer in the UK, Europe and the US. More often than not, it has long-term effects, including an enlarged, damaged and less efficient heart muscle which naturally leads to other disabilities and a notably decreased quality of life.
While the affected person certainly bears the burden of such diseases, society as a whole does as well. In a 2006 study, researchers found that CVD cost the UK economy £29.1 billion in 2004, with healthcare costs accounting for 60% of the total. This number is even higher in the US, with healthcare costs associated with CVD just under $300 billion per year.
It’s worth mentioning that CVD encompasses all diseases and conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels. But the focus here is on coronary heart disease, which often results in heart attacks and heart failure.
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