Supplementation could make huge savings on heart disease costs

€5.3bn could be generated in the EU annually, through daily consumption of phytosterols by adults aged 55+ with severe hypercholesterolemia

There is mounting evidence that billions of euros' worth of healthcare costs associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) could be avoided through more widespread food supplementation among target populations across the EU.

A new study commissioned by Food Supplements Europe has found that savings of €5.3bn a year could be generated through the daily consumption of 1.7g of phytosterols by the millions of adults aged 55 and older in the EU with severe hypercholesterolemia.

CVD

Hypercholesterolemia is the presence of high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is strongly associated with a higher risk of CVD.

Across the EU, 31.1 million over-55s are living with severe hypercholesterolemia. They have an estimated 24.3% risk of experiencing a CVD-attributed hospital event as a result.

Cost of CVD

Independent researchers from Frost and Sullivan calculated the economic burden of addressing cases of CVD linked to hypercholesterolemia among this population and discovered it is set to cost EU healthcare systems and providers €1.328 trillion between 2016 and 2020 – €266 billion a year, equivalent to €34,637 per event.

Research

Following an analysis of the available science, Frost and Sullivan’s research team concluded that consumption of phytosterols would cut risk of CVD-attributed hospital events by 2.3% basis points. This would result in cost savings of €26.5bn across five years.

The findings of the study are presented in full in a new Frost and Sullivan report: Healthcare Cost Savings of Phytosterol Food Supplements in the European Union.

Past research

This is the second study in one year to highlight the potential that exists for generating healthcare cost savings in relation to CVD through more widespread food supplementation among target populations in the EU.

In 2016, Frost and Sullivan’s researchers reported that €13bn a year in healthcare cost savings could be generated through daily consumption of 1,000mg of Omega 3 EPA+DHA food supplements.

Commentary

Food Supplements Europe Chair, Ingrid Atteryd, said: “A very clear picture is emerging of the significant economic and wellbeing benefits that could be achieved by encouraging more widespread food supplementation among those sections of the EU population at greatest risk of experiencing a CVD-attributed hospital event.

“Having already demonstrated the cost savings possible through greater supplementation with fish oil, we are now able to see the potential for substantial economies through more widespread consumption of phtyosterols.”

“It’s a clear indication that food supplementation can make a highly positive contribution in the EU both financially and in terms of quality of life.”

It is now impossible to ignore the fact that supplementation can play a vital role in the future of healthcare.

“This is an important opportunity to make significant cost savings that could ease the enormous financial pressure on healthcare systems.”

“More than ever, it is now impossible to ignore the fact that supplementation can play an absolutely vital role in the future of how healthcare in the EU is funded, resourced and delivered.”

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