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High Blood Pressure Leads to High Costs

The cost of treating high blood pressure is expected to continually increase.

Patient getting his blood pressure taken in a doctor's office.

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The cost of treating high blood pressure is expected to continually increase.

With 1 in 3 adults in the United States having a diagnosis of high blood pressure, the costs can be extraordinary for some. On average, according to a new study, those with hypertension “face nearly $2,000 higher annual health care expenditure compared with their nonhypertensive peers.” 

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, took a representative sample of about 225,000 adults, of whom 36.9 percent reported having hypertension.

The study was performed over a 12-year period, from 2003 to 2014 inclusive. The differences in costs are a continuing problem, the study found.

“This trend has been relatively stable over 12 years,” the study’s authors wrote. “Health care costs associated with hypertension account for about $131 billion [annually]. This warrants intense effort toward hypertension prevention and management.”

Researchers also warned that the overall cost factor is not likely to improve soon, given the rising rates of high blood pressure and its associated effects.

“The increasing prevalence of hypertension and [blood-pressure]‐related mortality may continue to drive the cost of cardiovascular disease upwards even in the setting of improving [blood pressure] control and treatment,” according to the report.

In their recommendations, study authors urged the following:

Expanded access to preventive care services.

For hypertension specifically, there may be a growing role for non–office‐based care delivery, such as telemonitoring home measurements and 24‐hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

High blood pressure is treatable. You can find more about how to deal with it at the AARP website.