Less than 20% of cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients use wearable devices, indicating health disparities and the need for equity. A study analyzing data from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) revealed that among CVD patients and those at risk, only 17.7% and 25.5% used wearables, respectively. Older age, lower education level, and lower income correlated with lower usage. Efforts to address disparities in wearable device adoption and promote health equity are crucial.
Less than 20 percent of individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD) utilize wearable devices, highlighting the urgency to address health equity concerns, according to recent research. A study published in JAMA Network Open reveals that the adoption of wearable devices among CVD patients or those at risk of developing the condition remains minimal, thereby highlighting the growing disparities in healthcare access.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming a life every 33 seconds.
As wearable devices become more prevalent in managing CVD, it is crucial to understand their effectiveness without exacerbating existing disparities.
To investigate the relationship between sociodemographic factors and the utilization of wearable devices, a team of researchers conducted a population-based cross-sectional study. The study analyzed data from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) and focused on patients with CVD or those at risk of developing the disease.
The findings revealed that the total adult population in the United States was 247.3 million, with 20.3 million individuals having CVD and 134.9 million at risk of developing the condition. These numbers were scaled to represent the HINTS population. The study included 9,303 patients, with an average age of 48.8, representing the total adult population in the United States. Among them, 933 had CVD, and 5,185 were at risk of developing CVD.
CVD was self-reported based on a history of heart attack, angina, or congestive heart failure, while risk factors included hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cigarette smoking. The researchers assessed access to wearable devices, frequency of use, and the extent of health data sharing.
The study revealed that CVD patients had limited usage of wearable devices. The data suggested that only 3.6 million US adults with CVD (17.7 percent) and 34.5 million individuals at risk of developing CVD (25.5 percent) utilized wearables. In comparison, 29 percent of the overall US population used wearable devices.
Among those at risk of developing CVD, the research indicated that older age, lower education level, and lower household income were associated with reduced adoption of wearable devices.
Furthermore, CVD patients who used wearables did so less frequently compared to those at risk of CVD and the general US population. The study found that 38 percent of adults with CVD used wearables daily, which was lower than the 48 percent of at-risk patients and the 49 percent of the total US population using wearables daily.
These findings led the researchers to conclude that individuals with CVD or at risk of developing the disease have limited engagement with wearable devices. Consequently, efforts to ensure equitable access to healthcare are essential, given the potential disparities observed.
Previous studies have also indicated disparities in wearable device use. In an April study published in JAMA Network Open, researchers focused on wearable device adoption among a pediatric population, examining the influence of social determinants of health (SDoH). The study analyzed patients in the two-year follow-up of the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.
The patient population consisted of individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. When provided with the option to wear a Charge HR 2 Fitbit, 71.3 percent of participants accepted, while 28.7 percent declined. The study found that Black children tended to wear the devices for shorter durations compared to White children, with the median device wear time falling below 300 hours for Black patients, while the total population had a median wear time of 400.7 hours.
These findings underscore the need for further research on disparities related to wearable device utilization.