A new study commissioned by Food Supplements Europe has found that savings of €5.3 billion (US$5.77 billion) a year could be generated through the daily consumption of 1.7g of phytosterols by the millions of adults aged 55 and over in the EU with severe hypercholesterolemia.
Hypercholesterolemia is the presence of high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood, which is strongly associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (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.
Meanwhile, Frost & Sullivan calculated the economic burden of addressing cases of CVD linked to hypercholesterolemia among this population.
It discovered it is set to cost EU healthcare systems and providers €1.328 trillion between 2016 and 2020 – €266 billion a year, and equivalent to €34,637 per event.
Phytosterols are proven to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
Following an analysis of the available science, Frost & Sullivan concluded that consumption of 1.7g of phytosterols a day by EU adults aged 55+ with severe hypercholesterolemia would cut their risk of experiencing a CVD-attributed hospital event associated with their condition by 2.3% basis points.
In turn, this would result in cost savings of €26.5 billion over five years, or €5.3 billion a year.