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WJBD - Health & Fitness News - Costs of Stroke May Double, and Then Some, by 2030

Costs of Stroke May Double, and Then Some, by 2030

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new report shows it really does pay to give careful attention to your health. A detailed analysis by the American Heart Association (AHA) shows the total annual costs of stroke in the U.S. are projected to increase to $240.67 billion by 2030 -- that’s 129 percent higher than today.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain becomes blocked by a clot or a bleeding vessel, leading brain cells lacking in oxygen-rich blood to die.

Even though stroke, as the fourth leading cause of death and top cause of disability, already accounts for 1.7 percent of national health expenditures, it is predicted to increase dramatically due to the aging of the U.S. population, according to data published in the AHA journal Stroke. More people suffer stroke after the age of 55.

And the deck is further stacked: improved treatment for stroke will lead to higher stroke survivor rates, and our increase in obesity, hypertension, and diabetes will lead to more strokes overall.

With increased survivor rates, medical professionals agree the cost of caring for stroke survivors will eventually take its toll on the healthcare system.

Policy changes in the health system that focus on preventative interventions are necessary now, given the reports findings, or we will certainly pay later.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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