The impact of the affordable care act on disparities in utilization of cardiovascular preventive services by socioeconomic status

Document Type



Office of the Provost; Cardiology


Disparities in cardiovascular outcomes are persistent in our society. The objective was to track the trends before and after the passage of the Affordable Care Act in socioeconomic status (SES) disparities in utilization of cardiovascular disease (CVD) preventive services among nonelderly adults aged 18-64 years. This study used the National Health Interview Survey (2011-2017) to compare utilization of blood pressure, cholesterol, glycemic screening, and diet and smoking cessation advice over time between groups stratified by SES and race using difference-in-difference analysis. This study also measured the differences over time in specific vulnerable population subgroups (Hispanic, low-income and uninsured vs. White, middle-high-income, and insured). The study population included 176,961 surveyed individuals (mean age 40 [±13] years; 51% female; 67.7% non-Hispanic White) between 2011 and 2017, translating to 194.8 million nonelderly US adults per year. Most individuals were from high-income SES (40.0%), followed by middle-income (28.1%), low-income (13.6%), and lowest income SES (18.3%). The proportion of CVD preventive services increased over all SES categories through the study period. The biggest relative changes were seen among low-income individuals. The difference in blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, and smoking cessation advise between high- and lowest income groups showed a statistically significant decrease at 5.2%, 4.8%, and 11.2%, respectively, between 2011 and 2017. The findings demonstrate a trend in reduction of CVD preventive care disparities between SES groups. However, a gap still exists, and this study highlights the need for continuous improvement to eliminate SES disparities.


This work was published before author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Population health management