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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2006||The Impact of Antihypertensive Drugs on the Number and Risk of Death, Stroke and Myocardial Infarction in the United States|
with Genia Long, David Cutler, Ernst R. Berndt, Jimmy Royer, Andrée-Anne Fournier, Alicia Sasser: w12096
Estimating the value of medical innovation is a continual challenge. In this research, we quantify the impact of antihypertensive therapy on U.S. blood pressures, risk and number of heart attacks, strokes, and deaths. We also consider the potential for further improvements. We estimate the value of innovation using equations relating blood pressure to adverse outcomes from the Framingham Heart Study. Our results show that without antihypertensive therapy, 1999-2000 average blood pressure for the U.S. population age 40 plus would have been 10-13 percent higher. 86,000 excess premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (2001), and 833,000 hospital discharges for stroke and heart attacks (2002) would have occurred. Life expectancy would be 0.5 (men) and 0.4 (women) years lower. At ...