Hyperlipidemia, a well-known risk factor for heart disease and stroke, affects 1 in every 3 American adults. If levels of cholesterol begin to surpass healthy levels in blood vessels, it won't necessarily cause an individual to feel ill. Until completing a biometric screening or blood draw, high levels of cholesterol can go undetected. And in the meantime, it can escalate into more severe issues such as heart attacks, blood clots, or stroke.
With a third of American adults affected by Hyperlipidemia, it's difficult to ignore the impact this condition could have on an employer's population. The American Heart Association suggests bi-yearly heart screenings for adults 20 years and older. The goal of these screenings is early detection. If test results identify high cholesterol characteristics, it doesn't mean you're destined to develop a more severe cardiovascular disease. Rather, by identifying initial onset characteristics, you're able to re-position current behaviors and prevent further development of more serious conditions.
What if we could identify and manage Hyperlipidemia before it escalated into a more severe condition? What if we could help prevent catastrophic health situations and future high-cost claims through data? That is what Springbuk's Health Intelligence platform is built to do.
A More Intelligent Solution
Springbuk's Health Intelligence platform is doing the heavy lifting for today’s employer. Our platform is built to highlight critical issues and provide a foundation for consultants and employers to build plan designs. With the ability to identify members at-risk for stroke and address non-compliant hyperlipidemic members, we’re able to curate strategies for those who are non-compliant and susceptible to an increased risk in cardiovascular conditions.
Once diagnosed with Hyperlipidemia, depending on where the individual is in their health journey, they may be prescribed a statin to help lower their levels of cholesterol. Statins, designed to help lower cholesterol and in turn reduce risk for heart disease and stroke, can have some severe side effects, including:
- Muscle pain and damage
- Liver damage
- Increased blood sugar
- Neurological side effects
Due to these side effects, if severe enough, individuals will stop taking their statins altogether. To combat this, Springbuk’s Health Intelligence helps employers identify members who are not compliant with their prescribed medications to mitigate the increased risk of a catastrophic cardiovascular event.
According to a study by CNN, researchers studied over 28,000 patients in Massachusetts prescribed statins. They found one-third of these patients stopped taking statins after experiencing a negative side effect. Additionally, one in twelve of them had a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, within four years of ceasing their statin prescriptions.
Putting Data to Work
As healthcare continues to shift from reactive to proactive, we have an opportunity to work with organizations by surfacing issues and tailoring programs to mitigate the ongoing risk of members not engaged in best condition practices. Through Springbuk’s Insights and Health Strategy Services, we identified that of the 2.5+ million members on our platform, 158,113 (6%) are diagnosed with Hyperlipidemia. And additionally, 51,183 members are at risk for stroke.
Springbuk also highlighted that the average age of those at risk or diagnosed with Hyperlipidemia is 54. Knowing the suggested age to start regular screenings for this condition begins in the early 20s, if undetected for 30 years, this manageable condition can quickly escalate to a more severe cardiovascular outcome. Many individuals can lower their cholesterol levels through holistic alternatives such as:
- Diet: With some cholesterol believed to come from food, health officials recommend cutting back on eating foods high in saturated or trans fats.
- Exercise: Staying physically active can help lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week.
- Quitting Smoking: Smoking also accelerates the damage that can be done by excess cholesterol. By quitting, you can help lower your chances of other related health issues like a heart attack or stroke.
Smarter Technology for Healthier Decisions
Springbuk identifies a population’s most significant opportunities and forms a foundation for consultants and employers to build from when designing plans and programs. Health Intelligence surfaces key issues, such as Hyperlipidemia, and helps more meaningfully direct resources to manage and close gaps in employee care. Because when data does the heavy lifting, employers and consultants are empowered to spend less time asking questions and more time acting on answers.
Curious about what key issues you should be targeting plan design around? Request a personalized walkthrough of Springbuk's Health Intelligence platform today.