TUESDAY, April 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Cardiovascular mortality rates among middle-aged adults are lower in counties in states that expanded Medicaid, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2019 Scientific Sessions, held from April 5 to 6 in Arlington, Virginia.
Sameed Ahmed M. Khatana, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues examined whether trends in cardiovascular mortality differed between states that did and did not expand Medicaid. Cardiovascular mortality rates were obtained for all individuals aged 45 to 64 years from 2010 to 2016 for all states except Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
The researchers found no significant differences in trends in mortality rates before the expansion. Compared with counties in nonexpansion states, counties in expansion states had a significantly smaller increase in cardiovascular mortality rates (141.9 to 142.0 deaths versus 176.1 to 180.6 deaths per 100,000 residents/year). Counties in expansion states had 4.0 fewer deaths per 100,000 residents per year from cardiovascular causes after expansion compared with if they had followed the same trends as counties in nonexpansion states after accounting for differences in demographic and economic variables. In nonmetropolitan counties and those in the top 50th percentile for residents living in poverty, the effect was more prominent.
“We believe these findings will be helpful for policymakers and health policy researchers in trying to tease out the impact of this most recent round of expansion,” Khatana said in a statement.