School of Medicine
Objectives Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the USA. Reducing the population-level burden of CVD disease will require a better understanding and support of cardiovascular health (CVH) in individuals and entire communities. The objectives for this study were to examine associations between community-level healthcare resources (HCrRes) and CVH in individuals and entire communities.
Setting This study consisted of a retrospective, cross-sectional study design, using multivariable epidemiological analyses.
Participants All participants in the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey were examined for eligibility. CVH, defined using the American Heart Association CVH Index (CVHI), was determined using self-reported responses to 2011 BRFSS questions. Data for determining HCrRes were obtained from the Area Health Resource File. Regression analysis was performed to examine associations between healthcare resources and CVHI in communities (linear regression) and individuals (Poisson regression).
Results Mean CVHI was 3.3±0.005 and was poorer in the Southeast and Appalachian regions of the USA. Supply of primary care physicians and physician assistants were positively associated with individual and community-level CVHI, while CVD specialist supply was negatively associated with CVHI. Individuals benefiting most from increased supply of primary care providers were: middle aged; female; had non-Hispanic other race/ethnicity; those with household income <$25 000/year; and those in non-urban communities with insurance coverage.
Conclusions Our results support the importance of primary care provider supply for both individual and community CVHI, though not all sociodemographic groups benefited equally from additional primary care providers. Further research should investigate policies and factors that can effectively increase primary care provider supply and influence where they practice.
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Digital Commons Citation
Pilkerton, Courtney S.; Singh, Sarah S.; Bias, Thomas K.; and Frisbee, Stephanie J., "Healthcare resource availability and cardiovascular health in the USA" (2017). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 1300.
Pilkerton CS, Singh SS, Bias TK, et al Healthcare resource availability and cardiovascular health in the USA BMJ Open 2017;7:e016758. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016758