• Evelyn Contreras

High Costs vs. Low-income Patients

February is not just red for romance or Valentine’s day; it's also for American Heart Month. About 655 thousand Americans die from heart diseases annually. Many of them are low-income, which immensely affects cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients due to high healthcare costs. A staggering amount of patients that have an absence of healthcare access is due to their socioeconomic status.

Because of the high healthcare cost, getting medical attention for low-income CVD patients is burdensome. Therefore, there is a crucial risk factor to consider that leads to CVD. Having a healthy diet could reduce the risk of this disease. One can improve their overall health by changing bad eating habits, such as going out to eat ready-to-go meals. Things slide downhill once healthcare costs get increasingly higher and complications start to arise, leading to problems accumulating for low-income patients.

A study has shown that the CVD treatment cost was $219 billion each year from 2014 to 2015, excluding the total cost of healthcare services, medicines, and productivity lost to death. To add on, more families cannot afford healthy foods for themselves as healthcare costs increase due to their low-incoming, leading to the increase of more CVD patients. It’s known that more than 80% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases tend to occur in low-income countries.

Other factors affect low-income CVD patients besides the socioeconomic factors and high healthcare costs, including hypertension, family history of premature coronary heart disease, smoking, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia.

All in all, a patient’s socioeconomic status has a significant impact on cardiovascular health and on treating patients with cardiovascular diseases.


Deborah M Siegal, John W Eikelboom, Shun Fu Lee, Sumathy Rangarajan, Jackie Bosch, Jun Zhu, Salim Yusuf, . (2021) Variations in incidence of venous thromboembolism in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Cardiovascular Research 117:2, 576-584. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1311890.

Link BG, Susser E, Stueve A, Phelan J, Moore RE, Struening E. Lifetime and five-year prevalence of homelessness in the United States. Am J Public Health. 1994;84:1907–1912. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2803292/.

A. Jones, Charlotte. “Heart Disease Facts | Cdc.Gov.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Sept. 2020, www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm.

Amanda Gosh. “MultiBrief: Red in February isn’t just for Valentine’s Day.” American Heart Association, 3 Feb. 2020, https://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/red-in-february-isnt-just-for-valentines-y.

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