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Times Free Press: Cost of care growing for adults with hypertension

 By: Elizabeth Fite

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects the health and wallets of more than 75 million U.S. adults, and the cost of managing this condition is growing, according to a new study from the Health Care Cost Institute.

The study released Tuesday analyzed data from employer-sponsored health insurance claims of adults between the ages of 18 and 65 and found that adults with hypertension accounted for 40.8 percent of all health care spending.

On average, people with high blood pressure spent about three times more on health care than those without and about two times more out of pocket. Spending for those with hypertension grew 18.3 percent from 2012 to 2016 to $14,399 a year, compared to a 14.3 percent increase to $4,596 a year for adults without.

"Hypertension is one of the most common chronic conditions in the U.S. and a contributor to two leading causes of death: heart attack and stroke. It's vital to understand the underlying drivers of spending and cost growth in this population," HCCI President Niall Brennan said in a statement.