Heart attacks and strokes are common complications of cardiovascular disease (CVD). They happen more often in people with specific risk factors, such as smoking or type 2 diabetes. People with a history of CVD or who have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol levels are particularly vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes. By reaching World Health Organization risk factor reduction targets, Colombia could gain US$10.5 billion in health care cost and productivity savings between 2016 and 2035, and also save up to US$10.7 billion by helping high-risk groups lower cholesterol levels.
Faced with rising health expenditures and an aging population, policy-makers need to act urgently. There is uncertainty, however, around which interventions may yield the biggest health and economic impacts. The current study, Reducing the Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in Colombia, fills some of this knowledge gap by assessing the impact of two different, yet complementary, CVD reduction strategies.