Healthcare Costs Attributable to Hypertension: Canadian Population-Based Cohort Study

Hypertension. 2015 Sep;66(3):502-8. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.115.05702. Epub 2015 Jul 13.


Accurately documenting the current and future costs of hypertension is required to fully understand the potential economic impact of currently available and future interventions to prevent and treat hypertension. The objective of this work was to calculate the healthcare costs attributable to hypertension in Canada and to project these costs to 2020. Using population-based administrative data for the province of Alberta, Canada (>3 million residents) from 2002 to 2010, we identified individuals with and without diagnosed hypertension. We calculated their total healthcare costs and estimated costs attributable to hypertension using a regression model adjusting for comorbidities and sociodemographic factors. We then extrapolated hypertension-attributable costs to the rest of Canada and projected costs to the year 2020. Twenty-one percent of adults in Alberta had diagnosed hypertension in 2010, with a projected increase to 27% by 2020. The average individual with hypertension had annual healthcare costs of $5768, of which $2341 (41%) were attributed to hypertension. In Alberta, the healthcare costs attributable to hypertension were $1.4 billion in 2010. 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%), increasing prevalence (16%), and increasing per-patient costs (32%). Hypertension accounts for a significant proportion of healthcare spending (10.2% 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.

Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; cost of illness; healthcare costs; healthcare economics and organization; hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / economics*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged