If Medicare beneficiaries worked harder to cut their heart disease risks, the U.S. government could cut $41 billion from what it spends on the program every year, the American Heart Association reported recently.
heart group said its
study showed that people simply
five of its so-called "Life's Simple 7" modifiable healthy habits. The areas of focus are cigarette smoking,
physical activity, diet, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol
and glucose levels.
actual cost for persons with fewer than five to seven factors is
almost certainly higher,” said Dr. Kristal
Aaron, lead author of the study and clinical data manager at the
University of Alabama. “Skilled
nursing facility, home health and hospice care, durable medical
supplies, and medications were excluded in this analyses; thus, our
study was limited to inpatient and outpatient visits for
beneficiaries with Medicare fee-for-service in the 2014 calendar
year. So this is probably a very conservative estimate.”
researchers determined the estimated savings by using data from
Reasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke, a national,
population-based longitudinal study. The study focused on Medicare
claims for 6,262 beneficiaries over age 65 with fee-for-service
coverage and no prior history of cardiovascular disease.
of the study’s primary findings were that less than 7 percent of
the participants had five to seven ideal factors, and those with
lower “Life’s Simple 7” scores were more likely to be female,
African American, unmarried, with less than a high school education
and an annual income of less $20,000.
Healthier habits could save billions, heart association says
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