Key Employer


Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease describes problems that affect the heart and its blood vessels, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and arrhythmia. Some of these conditions are related to atherosclerosis, a process that occurs when plaque builds up inside the arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fats, and other substances. As plaque builds up, it can partially or totally block the flow of blood through the arteries. This may result in a heart attack or stroke.5,6

Common risk factors for cardiovascular disease include:7,8

The prevalence of cardiovascular disease is expected to increase from 100 million (2015) to 130 million (2035), making this an urgent issue.3


Cardiovascular disease is one of the most expensive medical conditions for the medical system and for employers: the costs related to treating cardiovascular disease is expected to more than double from 2015 to 2035, increasing the costs from $555 billion to $1.1 trillion.3

Employers face many direct and indirect costs because of cardiovascular disease.

Mean 1-year direct medical costs for first cardiovascular event10

Employers continue to face direct costs after the first cardiovascular event.

43% of those with a prior CV event had at least 1 new CV event within 2 years.1 The minimum average cost* of a subsequent event is over $63,000.2

*Costs included pharmacy costs and medical costs (inpatient services, emergency department, office visits, and outpatient services). Costs were calculated as the sum of the patient out-of-pocket costs and the amount paid by the health plan. All costs were inflated to 2013 dollars based on the Consumer Price Index.

The total cost for patients who require a secondary hospitalization can be up to 4.5 times higher than those who are not hospitalized.11

Employers also face high indirect costs. Employees with cardiovascular disease cost their employers about $1,119 more in workplace absenteeism and short-term disability costs in the first month alone. Employees with cardiovascular disease also lose 56 hours more in productivity in the first month following a cardiovascular event. While costs are highest in the first month following a cardiovascular event, employers may pay more through the first year for workplace absenteeism and up to 3 years for short-term disability.12

Cost of workplace absenteeism (WA) and short-term disability (STD)12


Employers play an integral role in helping individuals improve cardiovascular health.

Corporate Level
At the organizational level, employers can identify opportunities across the continuum of care to reduce cardiovascular disease costs, improve care, and enhance the employee experience.13

Engage Employees at the Individual Level
Offer programs that target high-risk cardiovascular behaviors for all employees. Such programs may help avoid costly cardiovascular events.



Cardiovascular Disease
Population Health Resources

Visit Amgen’s Population Health website for useful resources and examples of improving employee cardiovascular health.


Cardiovascular Costs and
Risk Management for Employers

Materials for

References: 1. Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update. Circulation. 2019;139:e56-e528. 2. Punekar RS, Fox KM, Richhariya A, et al. Burden of First and Recurrent Cardiovascular Events Among Patients With Hyperlipidemia. Clin Cardiol. 2015;38:483-491. 3. American Heart Association. Projections of Cardiovascular Disease Prevalence and Costs (Technical Report): 2015–2035. November 2016. uploads/2017/10/Projections-of-Cardiovascular-Disease.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2020. 4. Cohen SB. MEPS Brief #455. stat455.pdf. Accessed May 13, 2020. 5. American Heart Association. About Heart Attacks. Accessed May 13, 2020. 6. American Heart Association. Warning Signs of a Heart Attack. Accessed May 13, 2020. 7. Grundy SM, Stone NJ, Bailey AL, et al. Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol: Executive Summary. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019;73(24):3168-3209. 8. American Heart Association. Coronary Artery Disease - Coronary Heart Disease. Accessed May 13, 2020. 9. Goetzel RZ, Henke RM, Head MA, et al. Workplace Programs, Policies, And Environmental Supports To Prevent Cardiovascular Disease. Health Aff. 2017;36(2):229-236. 10. Bonafede MM, Johnson BH, Richharlya A, Gandra SR. Medical costs associated with cardiovascular events among high-risk patients with hyperlipidemia. Clinicoecon Outcome Res. 2015;7:337-345. 11. Nichols GA, Bell TJ, Pedula KL, O'Keeffe-Rosetti M. Medical care costs among patients with established cardiovascular disease. Am J Manag Care. 2010;16(3):e86-e93. 12. Song X, Quek RGW, Gandra ST, Cappell KA, Fowler R, Cong Z. Productivity loss and indirect costs associated with cardiovascular events and related clinical procedures. BMC Health Services Res. 2015;15(245):1-14. 13. Parkinson MD. Employer Health and Productivity Roadmap™ Strategy. J Occup Environ Med. 2013;55(12 suppl):S46-S51.