Chronic diseases are the leading causes of illness, disability, and death in the United States. They are also the leading drivers of our nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs. Proven chronic disease interventions can be cost-effective. “Cost-effectiveness” recognizes that the cost of the intervention is worthwhile in terms of longer life and better quality of life.
High Blood Pressure in the United States
Nearly 1 in 2 US adults (116 million) has high blood pressure, and most of them (92 million) may need to both change their lifestyle and take prescription medicine.
About 3 in 4 US adults with high blood pressure (92 million) don’t have it under control (defined as blood pressure less than 130/80 mm Hg).
High blood pressure rates vary by race and ethnicity. Over half (56%) of non-Hispanic Black adults, 48% of non-Hispanic White adults, 46% of non-Hispanic Asian adults, and 39% of Hispanic adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Only 18% of non-Hispanic Black adults, 22% of non-Hispanic White adults, 14% of non-Hispanic Asian adults, and 14% of Hispanic adults with high blood pressure have it under control.
Over 500,000 US deaths each year are linked to high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.
Because high blood pressure affects so many Americans and is a key risk factor for heart disease and stroke, it is one of our nation’s costliest health conditions.
Annual medical costs for people with high blood pressure are up to $2,500‡(d) higher than costs for people without high blood pressure.
About 650 million prescriptions for blood pressure medicine are filled each year. This accounts for about $29 billion‡(c) in total spending, of which $3.4 billion is paid directly by patients.
Strategies That Work
CDC supports state, local, tribal, and territorial heart disease and stroke prevention programs that help millions of Americans control their high blood pressure and reduce other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The agency promotes strategies and policies that encourage healthy lifestyles and behaviors, healthy environments and communities, and access to early and affordable detection and treatment of high blood pressure. These strategies help save lives and reduce health care costs. They include:
Expanding the use of team-based care, which means health care providers work with pharmacists, community health workers, and other health professionals to manage patients’ high blood pressure.
Increasing the use of community health workers to connect people with the services and lifestyle programs they need to reduce their blood pressure.
Increasing the use of self-measured blood pressure monitoring, where people with high blood pressure check their own blood pressure regularly and share this information with their health care provider.
Improvements in high blood pressure control or further reductions in the number of people with high blood pressure could generate billions in health care cost savings every year. For example:
Using team-based care that includes a pharmacist could prevent up to 91,900 heart attacks, 139,000 strokes, and 115,400 cardiovascular deaths over 5 years among US adults with uncontrolled high blood pressure. Medicare could save up to $900 million over 5 years with this intervention.
Reducing average population sodium intake to 2,300 mg a day (the recommended maximum for adults) may reduce cases of high blood pressure by 11 million annually, saving $18 billion in health care costs.
The Charlie E & Minnie P Hendrix Foundation for Chronic Illness Awareness are proud partners with The Office On Womens Health SMBP and we have been educating the community on the importance of medication adherence, controlling, monitoring and logging (BP) blood pressure readings and sharing this information with his/her medical professional. We will be offering informational sessions via Zoom in the upcoming months, if you are interested in participating please check out our events page.