Workplace programs, policies, and environmental supports to prevent cardiovascular disease

Ron Z. Goetzel, Rachel Mosher Henke, Michael A. Head, Richele Benevent, Chris Calitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using a novel approach, we provide a preliminary "snapshot" of how the comprehensiveness of workplace cardiovascular health initiatives is related to measures of employees' health risks, disease prevalence, and medical expenditures. We linked scores for the twenty large organizations that voluntarily completed the American Heart Association's newly launched Worksite Health Achievement Index (WHAI) for 2015 to individual-level MarketScan® data for 373,478 of their workers with employer benefits that year. Higher aggregate WHAI scores were associated with lower values for four of seven modifiable indicators of cardiovascular risk and a higher value for one. Although also associated with lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease, higher aggregate scores were associated with higher spending on the condition. These and other findings provide useful benchmarks and norms for employer practices related to cardiovascular disease prevention. As employers continue to complete the annual WHAI, we expect to gain further insights into the policies, programs, and environmental supports employers can implement to positively influence cardiovascular health and related spending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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