The highest spend in EU

CVD costs UK Euro 43 billion

The UK spends more of its healthcare budget on cardiovascular disease than any other country in the EU.

In 2004 alone, CVD accounted for at least €43 billion, according to a study* by researchers at the Health Economics Research Centre, in Oxford’s Department of Public Health.

Funded by the British Heart Foundation and the European Heart Network, the researchers based calculations on all UK residents diagnosed with cardiovascular disease in 2004 and the associated costs: community health and social services, primary, out-patient, emergency care and inpatient care – plus the costs of unpaid care and lost earnings due to illness and premature death.

Coronary heart and cerebrovascular diseases accounted for nearly 80% of all CVD deaths and 56% of costs. Other cardiovascular diseases, e.g. high blood pressure or other forms of cardiac disease, accounted for the remaining proportion of the cost.

Hospital in-patient costs reached almost €14.74 billion, or almost two thirds of the National Health Service bill for CVD. Related drug costs were almost €4.42 billion.

Ramón Luengo-Fernández, the study’s lead author, commented that the cost of CVD in the UK is only surpassed by mental illnesses: ‘Yet until now, there has been no systematic cost-of-illness study to evaluate the economic burden of cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study is to help policy-makers assess the impact of their policies and set priorities for research spending.’

* Published online in the Heart Journal.
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