Moody's: 5 conditions responsible for 30% of adverse health nationally
- Depression, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and substance use disorders are responsible for 30% of adverse health among those covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, according to a Moody’s Analytics report released Thursday.
- Common chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease are the conditions most impacted by social determinants of health, while cancer, substance use disorders and mental health are impacted less by social determinants and more by family health history and lifestyle choices.
- The report suggests that mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and affective disorder may be under diagnosed in many places. Areas with higher education and better labor force conditions are correlated with higher mental health conditions, but the report suggests that such populations are more prone to seek treatment.
The report found that socioeconomic and demographic differences (52%) explain much of the difference in country-level variation in health outcomes across the U.S. Behavioral factors (22%), followed by health system factors (12%) explain most of the rest of the variation.
In general, individuals with healthy behaviors, higher education attainment and better economic outcomes are healthier. Relative to the broader social determinants, health system factors such as the availability of primary care physicians or the amount of Medicaid support have only a modest effect on the prevalence of physical health conditions according to the report.
“This analysis also shows the need for continued improvements in the economic opportunities and social influences that drive healthy behaviors within a community,” said Maureen Sullivan, chief strategy and innovation officer for BCBSA.
Payers are increasingly looking to use local health data to implement programs aimed at improving outcomes. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has said that both providers and payers must implement a more personalized approach to prevent disease.
Substance use disorders are only modestly related to general healthiness, but those with low education and those out of the workforce are more prone to such conditions. However, there is evidence that suggests that substance abuse disorders are prone to be under diagnosed in dense urban areas.
“That dense urban areas have worse health outcomes even after controlling for a litany of socioeconomic, demographic, behavioral and health system factors points to the importance of continued research on the causes and consequences of urban health issues,” the study states.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Understanding Health Conditions Across the U.S.
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