According to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Significant increases in cardiovascular trends may add to the burden on the US health care system and underscore the need for equal access to preventive education and treatment now to prevent future disease.
The researchers used data from the US Census Bureau’s 2020 report for the years 2025-2060 and combined these census results with the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors or diseases based on the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Based on these estimates, the researchers estimated predicted cardiovascular risk factors and disease in groups by gender (male and female), age (18-44; 45-64; 67-79; >80), and race and ethnicity (Asian , black). , Hispanic, White, and Other). The researchers analyzed the predictors of the following cardiovascular risk factors: diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity; and the following cardiovascular diseases: coronary heart disease, heart failure, heart attack and stroke.
From 2025 to 2060, all four cardiovascular risk factors are expected to increase among the general US population, with the largest percentage increase in diabetes (a 39.3% increase to 55 million people), followed by dyslipidemia (27.6 % to 126M), hypertension (25.1). % to 162M) and obesity (18.3% to 126M). The researchers found that stroke (33.8% to 15 million) and heart failure (33.4% to 13 million) had the highest predicted increase in cardiovascular disease rates, followed by coronary heart disease (30.7% to 29 million) and heart attack (16.9% to 16 million). ).
From 2025 to 2060, projections for CVD risk factors and disease are expected to stabilize for men compared to women (with the exception of obesity, where women are projected to continue to have a higher prevalence) and by age. However, all predictions for racial and ethnic minorities rose exponentially, while predictions for whites gradually declined. The black population is expected to experience the greatest burden of cardiovascular risk factors among all racial and ethnic groups. In addition, increases in cardiovascular disease are projected to have the greatest impact on black and Hispanic populations.
“Our analysis suggests that the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and disease will continue to rise with alarming trends,” said James L. Iannuzzi Jr., MD, a cardiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Cardiology and the Hutter Family Professor at Harvard Medical School. . School, ACC trustee and senior author of the study. “These staggering projections will disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. We hope that understanding these results will inform future health policy efforts and allow us to implement prevention and treatment interventions in an equitable manner.”
The researchers recommend focusing on CVD risk factor education, increasing access to quality health care, and facilitating low-cost access to effective treatments to halt the rise of CVD in at-risk populations. In addition, health policies will need to be developed to improve access to health care for historically underserved populations, implement individualized prevention strategies, and dismantle broader systems leaving racial and ethnic minorities underserved.
“Ultimately, because prevention is necessary to combat the future burden of cardiovascular disease, the results of this study represent an important issue,” said Reza Mahebi, MD, the Dennis and Marilyn Barry Cardiology Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of the study. “In order to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the US population, health policymakers will need to allocate preventive measures and health care resources to more vulnerable populations, which we predict will have a greater percentage of disease growth.”
“Although there are several assumptions behind these predictions, the importance of this work cannot be overstated,” said Andreas Kalageropoulos, MD, PhD, clinical investigator and health outcomes researcher at Stony Brook University Medical Center. and the author of the editorial comment. “The absolute numbers are staggering and suggest that by 2060, compared to 2025, the number of people, especially minorities, with risk factors for cardiovascular disease is expected to increase dramatically. Unless targeted measures are taken, the disparity in the burden of cardiovascular disease will only worsen over time.”
The study has several limitations, including the traditional method of making predictions for future cardiovascular disease, assuming future patterns of cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study authors did not consider COVID-19 in the estimates or the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular system. Finally, CVD were determined based on self-report.