Getting to the Heart of Employee Health and Wellness

Getting to the Heart of Employee Health and Wellness

Every employer wants a workforce that’s healthy, happy, and most of all, productive. Yet reaching that goal is getting more challenging as the population becomes less healthy, particularly when it comes to heart health.

The somber statistic is that today cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among all ethnic groups and genders globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. That’s 32% of all fatalities worldwide.

The Cost of Cardiovascular Disease

On average, employees with cardiovascular disease miss 13 days of work annually. The monetary cost to the United States is about $219 billion each year, including healthcare services, medicine, and even lost productivity due to the worst case, death.

The emotional toll of complications related to cardiovascular disease is even greater. Four out of five of all deaths from cardiovascular disease are due to heart attacks and strokes. One third of these deaths occur in people under 70 years of age.

Serving employees at highest risk ensures they receive the right care to reduce this impact.

Many Conditions, Not One

Living with chronic conditions predisposes people to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Multi-condition programs like One Drop help make the connection between chronic conditions rather than treating each as a competing health narrative.

Half of all Americans (47%) have at least one of the three main risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices place people at a higher risk for heart disease, namely diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use.

Preventing “A Major Event”

What exactly is “a major event related to cardiovascular disease?” A heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, or heart failure all qualify. Heart disease may be “silent” and remain undiagnosed until a person experiences complications:

  • Heart attacks are often caused by decreased blood flow to the heart and are accompanied by chest pain or discomfort, upper back or neck pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, dizziness, or shortness of breath.
  • Stroke symptoms include trouble walking, speaking, and understanding as well as paralysis or numbness of the face, arm, or leg.
  • Arrhythmia might be the root condition of palpitations, or “fluttering feelings in the chest.”
  • Heart failure comes with the telltale signs of fatigue and shortness of breath, or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins.

Reducing the Risks

What can employers do to safeguard their employees from experiencing an event?

Managing related health conditions such as diabetes, prediabetes, hypertension with a program like One Drop can help. One Drop adapts to each participant’s needs and preferences, delivering a highly personalized experience to improve their hearth health and lower their risk of a major event related to cardiovascular disease. Members experience meaningful, life-changing results—they’re more active, eat smarter, and build healthy habits that last.

When researching solutions, look at the health outcomes for related conditions that expose employees to greater risk; for example below are the results of the One Drop program for diabetes and hypertension.

One Drop outcomes for employees with hypertension:

  • Employees with elevated blood pressure using One Drop dropped their systolic blood pressure by -16 mm Hg.
  • Employees with stage 2 hypertension using One Drop dropped their systolic blood pressure by -21 mm Hg.

One Drop outcomes for employees with diabetes, including lower estimated A1C in as little as three months:

  • Employees with an estimated A1C above goal reduced average glucose by -25.7 mg/dL (-.9 percent estimated A1C).
  • Percent of weekly glucose readings above target range dropped from 55% to 39% (-16 percent reduction).

As the saying goes, “health is wealth,” and nowhere is that more true than in the workplace. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Mutual caring elicits mutual support.

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