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The cost of chronic disease

Heart disease
Heart disease © Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/Shutterstock.com

The American Heart Association projects that the annual cost of treating cardiovascular disease will triple between 2010 and 2030, spiking from $273 billion to $818 billion, according to a 2011 report. The AHA also estimates that lost productivity due to heart disease will rise from $172 billion in 2010 to $276 billion in 2030. The AHA includes coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and other related conditions in those figures.

The CDC reports that the treatment and lost productivity costs for coronary heart disease alone top $108.9 billion a year.

Cost-saving health tips: Don't smoke, keep your weight and blood pressure under control, and get moving, says cardiologist Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"Engaging in a regular physical activity is a critically important lifestyle modification," Fonarow says.

Adds Bauer: "People refer to physical activity as the closest thing we have to a wonder drug."

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