top of page
  • Writer's pictureIsabel Hollard

The Effects of Social Drivers of Health on Cardiovascular Diseases

Updated: Feb 26

In the United States, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in men and women of most racial and ethnic groups, with one person dying from cardiovascular disease every 34 seconds. Heart disease-related health care services, medicines, and the resulting loss of productivity costs the United States an estimated $229 billion annually – a number that is expected to grow exponentially, due to the expanding population of older Americans.1 According to the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, over 42% of Medicare beneficiaries have at least one heart condition.2 As researchers continue to study the effects of social drivers of health (SDoH) on health outcomes and risks, it has become apparent that SDoH studies are essential to understanding, preventing, and treating CVD. Social drivers of health account for 80% of an individual’s health outcomes and quality of life. SDoH barriers that have been linked to cardiovascular disease risk include:

  • Education

  • Environmental factors (water/air pollution, neighborhood safety, etc.)

  • Financial stability

  • Food insecurity

  • Psychological risks (loneliness, stress, etc.)

  • Access to quality health care

All of the above social drivers of health (and more) play an important role in an individual’s heart health. Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in almost all racial and ethnic groups, studies show that minorities have a two to three times greater chance of dying from a cardiovascular disease than their white counterparts. These studies make it clear that obvious disparities in health equity are present and that efforts are required to reduce health barriers, especially in underprivileged populations.3

In addition to the increased cost for health plans, out-of-pocket costs for Medicare enrollees treating heart disease can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 annually – not including insurance premiums. These medical costs make it difficult, undesirable, and much less likely that individuals that suffer from CVD and financial instability will seek necessary medical care.

Addressing SDoH Barriers and Regulatory Mandates

BeneLynk recognizes the role that social drivers of health play in your members’ quality of life and longevity, which is why we have made it our organization’s mission to remove social barriers and health inequities. With our Community Lynk solution, we can connect members with programs and benefits that help remove such barriers - de-escalating cardiovascular disease risk. Our Community Lynk+ solution not only helps to improve health outcomes and lower medical costs, but also enhances member engagement and retention while increasing your plan’s brand awareness and loyalty.

Although heart diseases are the most prevalent cause of morbidity in the United States, it is only one type of thousands of diseases that are greatly affected by social risk factors. This is why the National Committee for Quality Assurance and other government agencies have made it clear that health plans need to do more to address these barriers and improve health outcomes. With our Community Lynk+ solution, we can do just that. For more information on our solution, you can view our Community Lynk webpage and brochure, or you can send a message to

[1] “Heart Disease Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 Oct. 2022,

[2] Ward, Christopher, et al. “Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS).” CMS, Dec. 2017,

[3] Kreatsoulas, Catherine, and Sonia S Anand. “The impact of social determinants on cardiovascular disease.” The Canadian journal of cardiology vol. 26 Suppl C, (2010): 8C-13C. doi:10.1016/s0828-282x(10)71075-8

32 views0 comments


bottom of page