Favorable Cardiovascular Health Is Associated With Lower Health Care Expenditures and Resource Utilization in a Large US Employee Population: THE BAPTIST HEALTH SOUTH FLORIDA EMPLOYEE STUDY

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the association of favorable cardiovascular health (CVH) status with 1-year health care expenditures and resource utilization in a large health care employee population.

Participants and Methods:

Employees of Baptist Health South Florida participated in a health risk assessment from January 1 through September 30, 2014. Information on dietary patterns, physical activity, blood pressure, blood glucose level, total cholesterol level, and smoking were collected. Participants were categorized into CVH profiles using the American Heart Association's ideal CVH construct as optimal (6–7 metrics), moderate (3–5 metrics), and low (0–2 metrics). Two-part econometric models were used to analyze health care expenditures.

Results:

Of 9097 participants (mean ± SD age, 42.7±12.1 years), 1054 (11.6%) had optimal, 6945 (76.3%) had moderate, and 1098 (12.1%) had low CVH profiles. The mean annual health care expenditures among those with a low CVH profile was $10,104 (95% CI, $8633-$11,576) compared with $5824 (95% CI, $5485-$6164) and $4282 (95% CI, $3639-$4926) in employees with moderate and optimal CVH profiles, respectively. In adjusted analyses, persons with optimal and moderate CVH had a $2021 (95% CI, –$3241 to –$801) and $940 (95% CI, –$1560 to $80) lower mean expenditure, respectively, than those with low CVH. This trend remained even after adjusting for demographic characteristics and comorbid conditions as well as across all demographic subgroups. Similarly, health care resource utilization was significantly lower in those with optimal CVH profiles compared with those with moderate or low CVH profiles.

Conclusion:

Favorable CVH profile is associated with significantly lower total medical expenditures and health care utilization in a large, young, ethnically diverse, and fully insured employee population.

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