Are We Winning the Battle Against Heart Disease?

Dr. Valentin Fuster discusses the paradox of people living longer despite the dramatic increase in the incidence of cardiac disease in the general population. While breakthrough treatments have helped increase the life-span of the population by two years every decade in the last half of the 20th century, the increase in obesity has also increased the number cardiac patients requiring treatment.

Recently the cost per year for treating heart disease in the United Sates was $365 billion. Ten years prior the cost was half that figure. Thus while we can treat cardiac disease, it may become economically unviable to do so. In the next 20 years cardiac disease is predicted to rise 50% in the United States and 200% in a developing country like Brazil.

Dr. Valentin Fuster is the former Presidents of the World Heart Federation and The American Heart Association. Dr. Fuster also serves Director of both The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.


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