Research: Addressing cardiodiabesity at the household level could lower cost trend

Research suggests that combatting cardiodiabesity at the family and household level could further improve health outcomes and lower costs.

Cardiodiabesity is the term used to identify the comorbid state of cardiovascular disease, prediabetes/diabetes, and obesity. It’s a progressive and costly disease that can be addressed through early intervention and prevention.

According to a new analysis by Evernorth, cardiodiabesity impacts families and communities. The analysis, which analyzed 4.2 million commercially insured adults ages 18-64 throughout 2022, found that 40% of households have a primary member (i.e., employee) with cardiodiabesity. In households with two or more members (including dependents), 25% have more than one person with cardiodiabesity. 

Implementing programs and interventions that prevent and control the conditions that contribute to cardiodiabesity is key to slowing or stopping progression of disease and can help curb costs, which are estimated at $719 billion a year in the United States. The research suggests that combatting cardiodiabesity at the family and household level could further improve health outcomes and lower costs.

Cardiodiabesity’s impact on families and communities

Cardiodiabesity is not just about the person affected, but oftentimes involves caretaking and additional responsibilities by others in the household,” said Dr. Calie Santana, MHS, senior medical director at Evernorth Health Services. “This may include identifying in-network clinicians, coordinating visits with work hours, as well as triaging any side effects and interactions of medication regimens.”

Furthermore, the odds of having at least one dependent with cardiodiabesity is 2.5 times higher in households where the primary insured member has cardiodiabesity, compared with households where the primary member does not have cardiodiabesity. 

Cardiodiabesity impacts families

Cardiodiabesity drives up health care costs 

According to the research, households where one or more members have cardiodiabesity cost plan sponsors 3.2 times more per person on average than households without ($6,363 average annual total cost of care per member vs. $1,973). For households where only the primary member has cardiodiabesity, the average annual total cost of care for that member is $10,963. The average cost increases by $12,276 when a spouse/partner also has cardiodiabesity and $9,940 when a child also has cardiodiabesity. 

Average total cost of care: Households having cardiodiabesity by member status

“Our findings suggest cardiodiabesity has a familial impact,” Dr. Santana said. “Our analysis shows that if a primary member has cardiodiabesity, they are more likely to have a dependent who is impacted. This means addressing the condition would require not just individual engagement but caretaking support, which could take the form of enhanced access, lifestyle interventions, and/or education on how to respond to new treatments or symptoms for multiple members of the family.”

To address cardiodiabesity, employers should select interventions that slow progression and are family-oriented. Families need more coordinated and multifaceted care rather than a siloed strategy focused on individuals. “If all the members of the household are not involved in becoming healthier, the entire household will experience more health and financial burden,” said Urvashi Patel, Ph.D., vice president of the Evernorth Research Institute.

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EncircleRxSM: Cardiodiabesity
Evernorth’s EncircleRx is a data-driven solution portfolio that helps plan sponsors reduce costs and enhance outcomes. The EncircleRx: Cardiodiabesity solution gives clients optionality and predictability in managing cardiodiabesity – obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease with the first-ever GLP-1 financial guarantee from a PBM.