Physical Activity, Cardiovascular Disease, and Medical Expenditures in U.S. adults

Guijing Wang, Mike Pratt, Caroline A. Macera, Zhi Jie Zheng, Gregory Heath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Physical inactivity is an established independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death and disability among U.S. adults. Information on the economic impact of CVD associated with inactivity is lacking, however, although it is needed to attract more resources for preventing CVD and promoting physical activity. Purpose: The objective of this study was to estimate the direct medical expenditures of CVD associated with inactivity. Methods: A population-based analysis of direct medical expenditures was performed by linking the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to the 1995 National Health Interview Survey. The study participants were adults (N = 2,472; ages ≥ 19 years; not pregnant) in the noninstitutionalized, civilian population in 1996. Medical expenditures associated with inactivity were derived by comparing the medical expenditures between population groups stratified by physical activity and CVD status. Results: in 1996, the prevalence of physical inactivity was 47.5%. The overall prevalence of CVD was 21.5% (16.7% in active persons, 23.6% in inactive persons, and 49.5% in persons with physical limitations). In this population, there were 7.3 million CVD cases; 1.1 million of them (15.3%) were associated with inactivity. The total medical expenditure of persons with CVD was $41.3 billion, of which $5.4 billion (13.1%) was associated with inactivity. Applying these percentages to the total health and economic burdens of CVD in the United States, there were 9.2 million CVD cases ($23.7 billion direct medical expenditure) associated with inactivity in 2001. Conclusions: The high economic burden of inactivity-associated CVD demonstrates the need to promote physical activity among U.S. adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Health Expenditures
Cardiovascular Diseases
Exercise
Economics
Population
Cost of Illness
Health Surveys
Population Groups
Cause of Death
Interviews

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Physical Activity, Cardiovascular Disease, and Medical Expenditures in U.S. adults. / Wang, Guijing; Pratt, Mike; Macera, Caroline A.; Zheng, Zhi Jie; Heath, Gregory.

In: Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 28, No. 2, 01.01.2004, p. 88-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wang, Guijing ; Pratt, Mike ; Macera, Caroline A. ; Zheng, Zhi Jie ; Heath, Gregory. / Physical Activity, Cardiovascular Disease, and Medical Expenditures in U.S. adults. In: Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2004 ; Vol. 28, No. 2. pp. 88-94.
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