More than half of U.S. adults will develop some type of cardiovascular disease in thirty years, a recent report from the American Heart Association warns.

The research report attributes the increase in risk to having an older, more diverse population and elevated prevalence of risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity. According to projections from the American Heart Association, the total costs related to cardiovascular diseases are likely to triple by 2050.

"At least 6 in 10 U.S. adults (61%), more than 184 million people, are expected to have some type of CVD (cardiovascular disease) within the next 30 years, reflecting a disease prevalence that will have a $1.8 trillion price tag in direct and indirect costs," the news release stated.

Cardiovascular disease includes conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, heart arrhythmias, vascular disease, congenital heart defects, stroke, and hypertension.

High blood pressure or hypertension is considered both a type of cardiovascular disease as well as a risk factor contributing to nearly all types of heart disease. Hypertension cases are expected to increase from 51.2% to 61.0%, which translates to 184 million cases by 2050.

The report also warns that cardiovascular disease, including stroke but excluding high blood pressure, will rise from 11.3% to 15%, with stroke cases nearly doubling from 10 million to 20 million.

Obesity will increase from 43.1% to 60.6%, affecting over 180 million people, with the highest prevalence and growth in the age group 20-64. Diabetes will rise from 16.3% to 26.8%, impacting over 80 million people.

The report highlights an increase in risk among racial and ethnic diverse backgrounds. Black adults have the highest rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, inadequate sleep, and poor diet. Cardiovascular disease will increase most among Hispanic and Asian adults, with Asians also having the highest rates of inadequate physical activity. American Indians/Alaskan Natives and multiracial adults will have the highest smoking rates.

However, by 2050, some positive changes are expected, with more people adopting the healthy behaviors recommended by the American Heart Association's Life's Essential 8. Physical inactivity is expected to decrease from 33.5% to 24.2%, and smoking rates will drop nearly by half, from 15.8% to 8.4%. While over 150 million people will still have poor diets, there will be a slight improvement from 52.5% to 51.1%.

The experts hope that the projected increase in prevalence and costs related to cardiovascular diseases could take a positive turn with proper interventions and aggressive approaches to reduce risk factors.

They recommend two scenarios, which, if started next year, will take five years to implement. The first scenario recommends reducing the prevalence of high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity by 10% and improving their control by 20%. This could lower heart disease, stroke cases, and cardiovascular deaths by 17% to 23%. It also means 1.2 million fewer events and 240,000 fewer deaths annually by 2050.

The second scenario focuses on reductions in risk factors, particularly reducing obesity by half. This would translate into 2.3 million fewer CVD and stroke events and more than 450,000 lives saved annually by 2050.