Trends in Healthcare Expenditures Among US Adults With Hypertension: National Estimates, 2003-2014

J Am Heart Assoc. 2018 May 30;7(11):e008731. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.118.008731.


Background: One in 3 US adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension. As prior projections suggest hypertension is the costliest of all cardiovascular diseases, it is important to define the current state of healthcare expenditures related to hypertension.

Methods and results: We used a nationally representative database, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, to calculate the estimated annual healthcare expenditure for patients with hypertension and to measure trends in expenditure longitudinally over a 12-year period. A 2-part model was used to estimate adjusted incremental expenditures for individuals with hypertension versus those without hypertension. Sex, race/ethnicity, education, insurance status, census region, income, marital status, Charlson Comorbidity Index, and year category were included as covariates. The 2003-2014 pooled data include a total sample of 224 920 adults, of whom 36.9% had hypertension. Unadjusted mean annual medical expenditure attributable to patients with hypertension was $9089. Relative to individuals without hypertension, individuals with hypertension had $1920 higher annual adjusted incremental expenditure, 2.5 times the inpatient cost, almost double the outpatient cost, and nearly triple the prescription medication expenditure. Based on the prevalence of hypertension in the United States, the estimated adjusted annual incremental cost is $131 billion per year higher for the hypertensive adult population compared with the nonhypertensive population.

Conclusions: Individuals with hypertension are estimated to face nearly $2000 higher annual healthcare expenditure compared with their nonhypertensive peers. This trend has been relatively stable over 12 years. Healthcare costs associated with hypertension account for about $131 billion. This warrants intense effort toward hypertension prevention and management.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; health economics; health services research; healthcare costs; hypertension.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / trends*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Expenditures / trends*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / economics*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Prevalence
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult