Hypertension Epidemiology and Economic Burden: Refining Risk Assessment To Lower Costs

Jerome D. Cohen, MD
Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology), St. Louis University School of Medicine


Background: Hypertension (HTN) continues to be a serious public health problem in the United States and is a major risk factor for stroke, heart failure, myocardial infarction, and other serious cardiovascular and renal diseases. Because HTN can be asymptomatic, its detection and control continues to be a challenge. The total economic burden of HTN is estimated at $73.4 billion in 2009.

Objective: To examine the potential prognostic utility of biomarkers to assess hypertension-related cardiovascular risk and their potential impact on treatment in the context of current epidemiology and demographics of HTN.

Summary and conclusions: Although blood pressure control rates among people treated for HTN have increased from 51.3 percent to 63.9 percent over the past five years, there remains a vast unmet need for improved efficiency and effectiveness in diagnosis and treatment. Biomarkers provide a promising approach to improve detection and management of disease progression while optimizing health care expenditures.

Keywords: Hypertension, epidemiology, cardiovascular, renal, economic burden, biomarker, risk assessment

Address correspondence to:
Jerome D. Cohen, MD
8138 Westmoreland Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63105
Professor Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine (Cardiology)
St. Louis University School of Medicine