Reducing Metabolic Syndrome Risk Using a Personalized Wellness Program

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a targeted, personalized wellness program on reducing employees’ future risk of metabolic syndrome.

Methods:

Aetna piloted a year-long program that included a limited genetic profile, a traditional psychosocial assessment, and high-intensity coaching in a randomized controlled study of Aetna employees with an increased risk for metabolic syndrome.

Results:

Sustained employee engagement of 50% over the course of 1 year; 76% of participating employees lost an average of 10 pounds (4.5 kg) (P < 0.001 vs baseline weight), and there were trends in improved clinical outcomes relative to three of five metabolic factors. Average health care costs were reduced by $122 per participant per month, resulting in a positive return on investment in the program's first year.

Conclusions:

At scale, such programs would be expected to lead to significant downstream reduction in major clinical events and costs.

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