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Health Insurance Expansion Likely to Increase HTN Treatment

Increase expected to lead to fewer coronary heart disease events, stroke events, CVD-related deaths

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Efforts to expand health insurance coverage are expected to lead to increased treatment rates among nonelderly patients with hypertension, which will have significant health benefits, according to a study published online July 2 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Suhui Li, Ph.D., from The George Washington University in Washington D.C., and colleagues developed a state-transition model to simulate lifetime health events of the population aged 25 to 64 years. The effects of insurance coverage expansions were modeled on the basis of published findings on the correlation between insurance coverage, use of antihypertensive medications, and cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related events and deaths.

The researchers found that among patients with hypertension, currently anticipated health insurance expansions would lead to a 5.1 percent increase in treatment rates. By 2050, this increase would be expected to lead to 111,000 fewer new coronary heart disease events, 63,000 fewer stroke events, and 95,000 fewer CVD-related deaths. Slightly greater estimated benefits were seen for men than women, and for nonwhite populations.

“Federal and state efforts to expand insurance coverage among nonelderly adults could yield significant health benefits in terms of CVD prevalence and mortality rates and narrow the racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes for patients with hypertension,” the authors write.

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