Cost of Poor Heart Health to Business|
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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”
This Valentine’s week, I encourage employers large and small to consider some important matters of the heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing one person every 34 seconds, according to the American Heart Association. Heart disease also is among the most expensive diseases for U.S. employers. It is a leading cause of premature, permanent disability in the U.S. labor force, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Heart disease and stroke-related costs in the United States totaled nearly $258 billion in 2005, including health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
The good news is that employers can save on health care costs by investing in heart disease prevention benefits and services for their employees, and by encouraging employees to adopt heart-healthy habits.
Simply increasing the number of adults who use aspirin regularly to prevent heart disease would save 45,000 lives annually, according to a recent Reuters Health article.
According to the American Journal of Health Promotion, comprehensive worksite health promotion programs can yield $3 to $6 for every dollar spent over a two- to five-year period.
So I urge employers: Act now to improve your employees’ heart health. Healthy employees are vital to healthy business.
For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.