Economic Burden of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) generally refers to any disease that affects the heart (cardio) and the entire circulatory system/ blood vessels (Vascular). At the dawn of the 20th century, CVD was only responsible for about 10% of deaths globally, but by 2001 the figure had risen to 30%. According to research, about 1 million US citizens die every year from CVD and resulting complications, this translates to 42% of all deaths that is, it accounts for more deaths than cancer. Murray envisaged that CVD will be the global principal cause of death by the year 2020. Histological studies reveal that vascular damages appear early in life requiring primary prevention efforts essential from infancy. It has been emphasized that preventive factors, such as healthy eating and exercise should be modified. CVD can manifest itself as either chronic or acute; meaning, CVD can be an indicator of a persistent ailment (chronic) or can be a sudden occurrence (acute) like a heart attack, stroke, or obstruction of blood provision to the brain. Hypothetically, the economic costs of cardiovascular diseases are widespread and always on the rise. They are costs burdens to the family, to the government, and to the economy for time lost off work. In 2005, the cost of cardiovascular diseases in the European Union was estimated to be about? 169 billion per year. The consequences were felt both as a loss of income and production of the affected and the medical personnel as well as a strain on the countries' health organization. Researchers have found out that in developing and undeveloped countries, CVD are increasingly affecting working and lower socio-economic groups. It is feared that if the epidemic of CVD continues, it will adversely affect the viability of some countries' economies. In South Africa, 25% of the healthcare budget is spent on cardiovascular diseases while in China, 4% of their gross national income (€30.76 billion) is spent on direct costs related to cardiovascular disease management. A report by J Mackay elucidates that, the next decade will see Africa’s CVD economic burden rise to billions of dollars. Hypertension is the most significant contributor to the burden, including the cost of stroke care, congestive heart failure, and ischaemic heart disease. Instead of putting a monetary value on the burden, concerns should be on what should be done about the burden and what monetary values could be put on the benefits of such interventions. In addition, the methods do not examine the relationship between the costs and the benefits involved, plus how does the society as a whole gain from the measures taken. A further criticism is on the extreme dependency on data from income earners, excluding those who do not earn or the low-income earners.
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