According to an article from the National Business Group on Health, the average total (editor's note: lifetime) cost of a severe heart attack–including direct and indirect costs–is about $1 million. Direct (lifetime) costs include charges for hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs, while the indirect costs include lost productivity and time away from work. The average (lifetime) cost of a less severe heart attack is about $760,000. Amortized over 20 years, that’s $50,000 per year for a severe heart attack and $38,000 per year for a less severe heart attack.I'm all for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but before we get all hot and bothered about performing more testing to "prevent" a heart attack as a means to save health care costs going forward, remember the lessons we learned from the Tim Russert fallout.
Reference: The WISE Study:
Shaw LJ, Merz CNB, Pepine CJ, et al. The Economic Burden of Angina in Women With Suspected Ischemic Heart Disease: Results From the National Institutes of Health-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-Sponsored Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation. Circulation. August 29, 2006 2006;114(9):894-904.