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Why focus on heart disease?

Cardiovascular diseases, like heart attack and stroke, account for 1/3 of all deaths in the United States.1 Additionally, according to the American Heart Association®, by the year 2035, 45% of American adults will have at least 1 cardiovascular disease, further increasing the economic impact of the disease.1

While there are symptoms of heart disease, they often go unnoticed. Monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels on a yearly basis helps employees recognize their heart disease risk, and encourage healthy behaviors.

Fast facts for employers

Healthcare costs have been on the rise, and that includes the cost burden on employers. Cardiovascular disease, and related conditions, account for billions of dollars per year in healthcare spending and lost productivity. For example:1

  • An employee with a cardiovascular disease costs their employer $1,119 more per year in insurance spend
  • An employee with a cardiovascular disease has an average of 13 lost workdays per year due to their condition
  • High blood pressure-related absenteeism costs employers $10.3 billion per year in lost productivity
  • Obesity-related absenteeism costs employers $11.2 billion per year in lost productivity

What can you do to help prevent heart disease?

As the cost of healthcare continues to rise, employers will spend even more money on healthcare for those with cardiovascular disease. However, there are a few ways to enhance your employer-sponsored well-being program, reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease and improving the health of your population.

  • Offer biometric screenings: Screening is a baseline that provides population-level data to guide benefits programming.
  • Don’t skip a year: Screening each year encourages employees to be more engaged healthcare consumers.
  • Test for more than just lipid and glucose measures: Comprehensive wellness screenings provide insight into conditions that may not have external symptoms. To make employees aware of their heart disease risk, screen for hsCRP or metabolic syndrome in addition to blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, screening for hemoglobin A1c and eGFR allow employees to monitor their health for comorbidities, like prediabetes and chronic kidney disease, as well.
  • Connect employees to the care they need: Giving employees access to care can make developing a plan to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease easier. Combining screenings with virtual care solutions gives employees the opportunity to talk with a healthcare professional about their health risks. Additionally, employees can be linked to other employer-sponsored programs and in-network care providers who can assist with disease prevention and management.

 

1. American Heart Association. “Cardiovascular Diseases Affect Employers.” Accessed on 12 February 2018.
"An employee with a cardiovascular disease costs their employer $1,119 more per year in insurance spend"