Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in an individual’s environment that impact their health, quality of life, health outcomes, and risks. These nonmedical factors influence health outcomes, including cardiovascular (CVD) outcomes, for traditionally underserved populations in the United States.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, projected rates of cardiovascular risk factors and disease will increase significantly in the United States by the year 2060 [1]. Data from the same study also suggests that cardiovascular rates are expected to significantly increase among minorities while decreasing among white persons. Addressing these persistent inequalities is crucial since they contribute to CVD-related morbidity and mortality.

At-home healthcare solutions can increase equitable access to vital screenings to help close gaps in care and improve population health outcomes.

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Disparities in cardiovascular health and outcomes

The rate of premature deaths has increased over the last decade, with CVDs accounting for one in five deaths among Americans aged 25 to 64 years [2]. Despite increased knowledge of risk factors and groundbreaking advances in treatment, these advancements are not realized equitably across varying racial and ethnic boundaries. Such disparities in access to care and treatment mean that many Americans are not able to address their cardiovascular risk factors and health.

Although CVDs are the leading cause of death for all adults, they impact certain populations more than others. For example, 47% of Black adults have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, compared with 36% of white adults [3] Black adults also experience a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension and are more than twice as likely to die of CVD, compared to White adults [4]. Similarly, American Indian individuals are 1.5 times as likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease, compared with the White population [5].

SDOH, including a heavier economic and social burden and lack of access to quality care, put communities of color, underserved populations, and marginalized communities at a disadvantage that affects their cardiovascular health.

Barriers to equitable cardiovascular health

Healthcare access continues to be one of the most significant barriers to cardiovascular health. Healthcare access barriers include:

  • Financial constraints
  • Geographic location
  • Health professional shortages
  • Transportation access
  • Work-related concerns

These barriers disproportionately impact underserved and under-represented racial and ethnic groups, causing them to delay or forgo much-needed care.

At-home healthcare solutions can improve access to screenings for underserved populations and address the socioeconomic barriers that contribute to significant disparities in cardiovascular outcomes.

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How LetsGetChecked can help address social determinants of cardiovascular disease

Identifying and removing barriers to healthcare access and quality is an integral part of achieving cardiovascular health equity. LetsGetChecked’s at-home Diabetes Test and Diabetes and Heart Test can provide your population with accessible health insights that enable patients to control modifiable risk factors. Creating or expanding a screening program with our flexible and modular solutions can help reduce the burden of cardiovascular conditions in historically underserved groups.

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