Cardiometabolic risk and health care utilization and cost for Hispanic and non-Hispanic women. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cardiometabolic risk (CMR) is a specific set of risk factors that are associated with an increased chance of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We conducted a retrospective study of female members of a health maintenance organization in the southwestern United States to: determine the prevalence of CMR for 4 different groupings of CMR factors, identify differences between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, and quantify differences in 2-year health care utilization and costs of CMR. Subjects were females who had bone mineral density tests during 2003-2004, and thus a measure of height and weight, allowing body mass index (BMI) calculation (n = 2578; 27.6% Hispanic). Risk factors used to define CMR groupings were: obesity (BMI), triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting glucose. Results showed that Hispanics had higher prevalence rates than non-Hispanics (65.8% versus 52.3%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Adjusting for age and ethnicity, total costs for CMR patients in the groupings that required the presence of diabetes were twice the costs of those without CMR (approximately $11,500 versus $5500, respectively; P < 0.0001). In all other groupings, costs for patients with and without CMR were approximately $7000 versus $5500, respectively (P < 0.0001). Non-Hispanics had significantly higher visit costs than Hispanics. There were no differences in pharmacy costs. Higher utilization and costs associated with CMR suggest the need to identify and monitor patients with CMR. Our findings suggest diabetes prevention could yield substantial cost savings. Higher costs for non-Hispanics, despite higher prevalence among Hispanics, may indicate underutilization of health care resources by Hispanics. Future research in CMR should explore ethnic differences in access to care and disease management programs.

publication date

  • 2009