It is unclear how long-term medical utilization and costs from diverse care settings and their age-related patterns may differ by cardiovascular health (CVH) status earlier in adulthood. We followed 17,195 participants of the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project Industry (1967–1973) with linked Medicare claims (1992 to 2010). Baseline CVH is a composite measure of blood pressure, body mass index, diabetes, cholesterol, and smoking and includes four mutually exclusive strata: all factors were favorable (5.5%), one or more factors were elevated but none high (20.3%), one factor was high (40.9%), and two or more factors were high (33.2%). We assessed differences in the quantities (using negative binomial models) of and costs (using quantile regressions) for inpatient admissions, ambulatory care, home health care, and others between less favorable and all favorable CVH. All analyses adjusted for baseline age, race, sex, education, age at follow-up, year, state of residence, and death. We found that all favorable CVH in earlier adulthood was associated with lower long-term utilization and costs in all settings and the gap widened with age. Compared to all favorable CVH, the annual number of acute inpatient admissions per person was 79% greater (p-value < 0.001) for poor CVH, the median annual Medicare payment per person was $640 greater (41%, p-value < 0.001), and the mean was $4628 greater (67%, p-value < 0.001). The cost differences were greatest for acute inpatient, followed by ambulatory, post-acute inpatient, home health, and other. Early prevention efforts may potentially result in compressed all-cause morbidity in later years of age, along with reductions in resource use and health care costs for associated conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health