Hearts & Minds Blog

U.S. CDC Highlights High Unmet Cardiovascular Need

Tim Mayleben

President and Chief Executive Officer

A new report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sheds light on an issue that we, as the Lipid Management Team, are intimately familiar with. The report showed that, despite its preventability, cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death and health care costs in the United States. The CDC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have targeted this issue with a nationwide initiative called Million Hearts 2022, which was established to prevent one million heart attacks, strokes, and other acute cardiovascular events during 2017–2021 to keep U.S. adults healthy and to optimize medical care to prevent cardiovascular events. The report published this month details the costs in 2016 of nonfatal and fatal cardiovascular events targeted for prevention through this initiative.

There are a few key figures from the report that caught our eye:

  • In 2016, heart attacks, strokes, and similar conditions caused 2.2 million preventable hospitalizations and 415,000 deaths in the U.S.
  • Those cases resulted in a staggering $32.7 billion in direct medical costs that year alone.
  • By 2022, the CDC projects that 16.3 million heart attacks, strokes, and related heart-threatening events will occur causing an estimated $173.7 billion in hospitalization costs

As we know, heart disease and stroke are largely preventable – and yet the CDC concludes that 39 million Americans could benefit from better cholesterol management. How do we reach these patients?

That’s where our mission comes in.

There is even greater urgency now for patients to gain access to convenient, complementary, cost-effective, oral LDL-cholesterol lowering therapies. The latest data from the CDC underscore why our commitment to provide new options for the more than 12 million U.S. patients not reaching current LDL-cholesterol-lowering goals despite taking maximally tolerated statins is so critical.

As the CDC points out, it is time to mobilize and strengthen the focus on implementing strategies that focus on the prevention, early diagnosis, and effective management of CV risk factors like high cholesterol, to prevent acute cardiovascular events. Stay tuned for more news and updates on how we at Esperion are working to help improve lipid management for the millions of Americans who need it – the 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions are right around the corner – in early November!