Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of Medicine Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania

Cardiovascular Mortality Linked to Economic Prosperity Interview with:

Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine, Perleman School of Medicine Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Khatana

Sameed Khatana MD, MPH
Instructor, Cardiovascular Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Physician, Philadelphia VA Medical Center What is the background for this study?

Response: After declining for decades, the fall in cardiovascular mortality rates in the US has started to slow down and rates may be rising in certain groups. This stagnation in mortality has been most start among middle-aged adults. These trends have occurred at the same time as growing economic inequality. Our analysis aimed to study the relationship between change in cardiovascular mortality rates between 2010 and 2017 for middle-aged adults across the US and change in economic prosperity levels. What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings are that among US counties with the greatest increase in economic prosperity levels, cardiovascular mortality rate in middle aged adults continued to decline between 2010 and 2017. During this same time period, mortality rates did not change for counties that had either no improvement or worsening of economic prosperity levels. Because of this, the disparities in cardiovascular mortality rates between areas with improving vs. those with declining economic prosperity widened further.

Additionally, we found that that improving economic prosperity was significantly associated with decreases in cardiovascular mortality rates independent of changes in demographics or healthcare availability of an area.  This association was present for Black, White, and Hispanic individuals as well as for both males and females. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The main take away for this study is that not only economic prosperity associated with cardiovascular health and mortality, as has been shown previously, but that changes in economic prosperity levels in an area may be responsible for changes in mortality rates over time.

Therefore, economic trends may, at least in part, be responsible for the stagnation of cardiovascular mortality that is being seen in the US.

In light of the ongoing economic turmoil related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to realize that these economic trends can potentially have long term impacts on a community’s health. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research needs to examine whether interventions that improve the economic well-being of an area or community, can also lead to improvements in the cardiovascular health of a community.

Any disclosures? Dr. Khatana receives grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association.


Association Between County-Level Change in Economic Prosperity and Change in Cardiovascular Mortality Among Middle-aged US Adults



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Last Updated on February 2, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD