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Open Access Research article

Epidemiological and economic burden of metabolic syndrome and its consequences in patients with hypertension in Germany, Spain and Italy; a prevalence-based model

Jürgen Scholze1*, Eduardo Alegria2, Claudio Ferri3, Sue Langham4, Warren Stevens5, David Jeffries6 and Kerstin Uhl-Hochgraeber7

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Outpatient Clinic, CCM, Charite-Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Luisenstrasse 11-13, 10117 Berlin, Germany

2 Servicio de Cardiología, Policlínica Gipuzkoa, San Sebastián, Spain

3 Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, Division of Internal Medicine, Hypertension & Cardiovascular Prevention Center, University of L'Aquila, San Salvatore Hospital, L'Aquila, Italy

4 Independent Health Economist, Manchester, UK

5 Independent Health Economist, Boston, USA

6 Head of Statistics and Data Management, MRC Tropical Disease Research Unit, Banjul, Gambia

7 Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Global Health Economics & Outcomes Research, Berlin, Germany

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:529  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-529

Published: 2 September 2010

Abstract

Background

The presence of metabolic syndrome in patients with hypertension significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and mortality. Our aim is to estimate the epidemiological and economic burden to the health service of metabolic syndrome in patients with hypertension in three European countries in 2008 and 2020.

Methods

An age, sex and risk group structured prevalence based cost of illness model was developed using the United States Adult Treatment Panel III of the National Cholesterol Education Program criteria to define metabolic syndrome. Data sources included published information and public use databases on disease prevalence, incidence of cardiovascular events, prevalence of type 2 diabetes, treatment patterns and cost of management in Germany, Spain and Italy.

Results

The prevalence of hypertension with metabolic syndrome in the general population of Germany, Spain and Italy was 36%, 11% and 10% respectively. In subjects with hypertension 61%, 22% and 21% also had metabolic syndrome. Incident cardiovascular events and attributable mortality were around two fold higher in subjects with metabolic syndrome and prevalence of type 2 diabetes was around six-fold higher. The economic burden to the health service of metabolic syndrome in patients with hypertension was been estimated at €24,427, €1,900 and €4,877 million in Germany, Spain and Italy and forecast to rise by 59%, 179% and 157% respectively by 2020. The largest components of costs included the management of prevalent type 2 diabetes and incident cardiovascular events. Mean annual costs per hypertensive patient were around three-fold higher in subjects with metabolic syndrome compared to those without and rose incrementally with the additional number of metabolic syndrome components present.

Conclusion

The presence of metabolic syndrome in patients with hypertension significantly inflates economic burden and costs are likely to increase in the future due to an aging population and an increase in the prevalence of components of metabolic syndrome.