Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women and claims nearly 1 in 4 people every year. Additionally, almost 720,000 Americans have their first or second heart attack and another 795,000 experience a new or recurrent stroke. Coronary heart disease alone costs the nation $108.9 billion in health care costs, medications and lost productivity. Stroke adds another $53.9 billion in both direct and indirect costs. These costs burden employers, who spend an estimated 25-30% of their annual medical expenditures on employees with major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.
Healthy lifestyle habits – A healthy diet, regular physical activity, weight control and avoiding tobacco- are the foundation of cardiovascular prevention. Unfortunately, less than 10% of American adults have optimal lifestyle habits and risk factor levels. Workplace wellness programs can play an important role by providing employees with tools and support to reduce their risk of a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke. Evidence shows that workplace wellness programs can positively alter CV risk factor profiles for workers with a CVD diagnoses and workers who otherwise appear healthy.
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