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Engaging Community Health Workers for Diabetes or Cardiovascular Disease Prevention is Cost-Effective

A community health worker reviews records with a patient.Each year in the United States, cardiovascular disease accounts for $330 billion in healthcare costs and productivity losses, and diabetes accounts for $327 billion (Benjamin et al. 2018; American Diabetes Association 2017).

A new publication from The Community Guide reports that interventions engaging community health workers for cardiovascular disease prevention or diabetes prevention or management are cost-effective. The estimated costs per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained for these intervention approaches were below $50,000—a benchmark for cost-effectiveness.

Jacob V, Chattopadhyay SK, Hopkins DP, Reynolds J, Xiong KZ, et al. Economics of community health workers for chronic disease: findings from Community Guide systematic reviews pdf icon [PDF - 427 kB]. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2019;56(3):e95-e106.

Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommendations and summaries of the effectiveness and economic evidence are available for interventions engaging community health workers for cardiovascular disease prevention, diabetes prevention, and diabetes management.

Community health workers (including promotores de salud, community health representatives, community health advisors, and others) are frontline public health workers who serve as a bridge between underserved communities and healthcare systems. They are from, or have a close understanding of, the community they serve.

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References

Benjamin EJ, Virani SS, Callaway CW, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2018 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2018;137(12):e67–e492.

American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care 2018;41(5):917–28.