Saturday, May 30

Study finds health screening increase after Affordable Care Act launch

Joseph Ladapo, an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine, led a UCLA study that showed more people received preventative treatment for cardiovascular health after the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. (UCLA Newsroom)

More Americans are receiving health screenings for cardiovascular disease after the Affordable Care Act came into effect, according to a UCLA study published last week.

Researchers from UCLA and New York University found that after the ACA, which increased health insurance coverage for 20 million adults, went into effect, more people participated in screenings for symptoms pointing to heart-related diseases, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The percentage of diabetes screenings from 2006 to 2013 increased from 3.9 to 7.6 percent, and the percentage of tobacco-use screenings increased from 64.4 to 74.5 percent, according to the data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2006 to 2013.

Joseph Ladapo, an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine and the lead author of the study, said in a statement his research team also found that more men are taking baby aspirin as a preventative treatment for heart attacks and strokes while the number of women doing the same remains unchanged. This disparity in aspirin usage between men and women raises concerns that women receive poorer cardiovascular care, he added.

The study does not account for health insurance plans with high-deductible payments and grandfathered insurances. The authors noted that patients with these plans may not have sought out heart-health screenings, which could have skewed the data.

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