Smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that leads to a first heart attack can cost more than $13 billion in hospitalization and lost wages annually.

When these uncontrolled risk factors lead to a recurrent heart attack or stroke that was fatal, it cost another $13 billion per year, according to research published by the American Heart Association.

Overall, the American Heart Association estimates that direct and indirect costs of stroke are $53 billion a year.

It’s estimated that 14 percent of cardiovascular deaths are related to inadequate control of multiple risk factors in people without previous heart attack or stroke.

If you have high blood pressure, have high cholesterol over 200, and smoke, you clearly are at risk for serious cardiovascular complications. These complications can lead to your death, as well as adding to the massive costs of health care.

An ounce of prevention can save billions of dollars!