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Report Estimates Stroke Costs to Increase Two-Folds by 2030

Update Date: May 30, 2013 02:28 PM EDT
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In the United States, stroke is one out of the top four leading killers with the American Heart Association (AHA) reporting that one in every 25 people will suffer from a stroke. The AHA also estimated that by 2030, the frequency of stroke cases would increase to 20 percent. Stroke, which affects Hispanics and African Americans the most within this nation, is considered to be preventable, which is why it is important to find ways of controlling this condition. Not only does a stroke debilitate health, suffering from one can also lead to hefty medical fees. According to a new report, by 2030, stroke costs could double.

The report estimated that in less than two decades, stroke costs could increase from $71 billion to $183 billion. The report also calculated the monetary annual losses due to the decrease in productivity. It estimated that by 2030, the losses could increase from $34 billion to $56 billion. The researchers stated that these costs are due to the fact that stroke survivors often need long-term medical care. Roughly 90 percent of people who suffered a stroke do not fully recover and thus, they end up spending a lot of money just to maintain their conditions. The report also stated that the increase in costs could affect the age group of 45 to 64-years-old the most. The researchers found that for this group, the incidence rate could increase by 5.1 percent. This age group also has higher rates of obesity and diabetes, which are two independent contributors to increasing one's risk of a stroke.

"We know that this group has been at risk because they tend to not have insurance. They also tend to be a bit more optimistic about their health," said lead researcher, Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele. Ovbiagele is also the chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. He also acknowledged that this age group falls under the cutoff of point to qualify for government insurance.

The researchers stated that for all age groups, the most important thing is to take preventative measures. Several health experts have estimated that 80 percent of strokes could have been stopped if people took care of their bodies and diets.

"As I say to all my patients, the best stroke is a stroke you never had," says Ovbiagele. 

The report was published in the journal, Stroke.

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