The study, Healthcare Costs Attributable to Hypertension, uses population-based administrative data for the province of Alberta (>3 million residents) from 2002 to 2010, identifying individuals with and without diagnosed hypertension. The study calculated total healthcare costs and estimated costs attributable to hypertension using a regression model adjusting for comorbidities and sociodemographic factors. It then extrapolated hypertension-attributable costs to the rest of Canada and projected costs to the year 2020.
The average individual with hypertension had annual healthcare costs of $5,768, of which $2,341 (41 per cent) were attributed to hypertension. In Canada, the hypertension-attributable costs were estimated to be $13.9 billion in 2010, rising to $20.5 billion by 2020. The increase was ascribed to demographic changes (52 per cent), increasing prevalence (16 per cent), and increasing per-patient costs (32 per cent).
Hypertension accounts for a significant proportion of healthcare spending (10.2 per cent of the Canadian healthcare budget) and is projected to rise even further. Interventions to prevent and treat hypertension may play a role in limiting this cost growth.
“Since 2011, the OSN’s Hypertension Management Program has endeavored to address both prevention of vascular disease as well as promoting best-practices in managing the health of Ontarians diagnosed with hypertension,” said Stephen Sundquist, Senior Manager, Primary Care Programs for the Ontario Stroke Network.
The Hypertension Management Program (HMP) is an evidence-informed, chronic disease management program designed to improve the diagnosis, management and control of hypertension (or chronic high blood pressure) according to clinical best practice guidelines. The HMP and the culturally-congruent Aboriginal HMP are designed to effectively support healthcare providers and patients in Ontario not just in managing their hypertension, but in preventing development of cardiovascular diseases for which hypertension is a known risk factor.