A new study says that a comprehensive health promotion program reduced cardiovascular disease-related medical and hospital costs.
CSX Transportation, a national company with 30,000 employees, developed the program in 2004 to address employees' high rates of cardiovascular disease when compared to national benchmarks and the associated higher healthcare costs. Over time, the program included a variety of interventions, such as biometric screenings, nutrition and exercise health coaching, and on-site fitness centers at multiple employee locations. Researchers analyzed the impact of the program on cardiovascular disease-related medical and hospital claims, using 2006-08 data on 5,768 non-contract employees. They found:
In employees with high cholesterol, average total cholesterol declined from 196.4 to 185.2 mg/dL; average high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol increased from 38.7 to 42.1 mg/dL. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL declined from 5.5 to a healthier 4.9. The percentage of employees reaching low-density lipoprotein (LDL) goals increased from 48 percent to 62.4 percent.
- In employees with hypertension, average blood pressure declined from 137.2/86.1 to 125.4/80.2 mm Hg. Blood pressure goal attainment increased from 42.5 percent to 67.4 percent.
- In employees with diabetes, average fasting blood glucose (BG) remained unchanged, while non-fasting BG declined from 152.3 to 146.2 mg/dL.
- The percentage of employees with a cardiovascular disease-related medical claim declined from 56.6 percent to 48.3 percent, and cardiovascular disease-related medical claims declined from 14.1 percent to 13.1 percent.
- The percentage of employees with a cardiovascular disease-related hospital claim declined from 6 percent to 4.3 percent and cardiovascular disease-related hospital claims declined from 2.5 percent to 1.7 percent.