Health and Science

Heart disease to cost Europe $162B per year by 2020

The economic cost of cardiovascular disease in Europe is set to increase to around $162 billion annually by 2020, a new report has found.

In research published on Thursday, the U.K.'s Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) warned that the cost of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in six major European countries—France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the U.K.—will hit 122.6 billion euros ($161.7 billion) by 2020, up from 102.1 billion euros 2014.

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Most of this economic burden—$130.2 billion—will stem from direct healthcare costs from cardiovascular disease, which includes coronary heart disease, heart failure, congenital heart disease and strokes.

Indirect costs due to lost productivity from premature mortality, and the cost of morbidity, will account for an additional $31.5 billion across the six countries.

"The financial burden of cardiovascular disease and the human impact on individuals and their families is only set to rise unless we address this epidemic head on. This requires a continued, coordinated focus across industry, academia, healthcare systems and governments," said Tom Keith-Roach, vice president for Brilinta at AstraZeneca, in a news release from the CEBR.

Germany—which has the largest population of any European Union country—should continue to bear the highest costs from the disease, with the economic impact expected to total $54.5 billion in 2020.

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There are multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes. The CEBR forecasts that cardiovascular disease will claim the lives of over 1.2 million people in 2020, up from this year's 1.1 million.