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Video: Worksite Wellness Programs Lower Healthcare Costs, Make Employees Healthier
Date:9/30/2009

DALLAS, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Worksite wellness programs are a proven strategy to prevent the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to a policy statement published today in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. These risk factors include smoking, overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www2.prnewswire.com/mnr/aha/40021/

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090930/NY84549LOGO )

Heart disease costs the nation an estimated $304.6 billion annually. An estimated 25-30 percent of companies' annual medical costs are spent on employees with excess health risk defined in large part by their risk for cardiovascular disease.

Employees also pay the price -- with higher contributions to insurance, higher co-pays and deductibles, reduction or elimination of coverage, and trade-offs of insurance benefits against wage or salary increases.

"Research shows that companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a program," said Mercedes Carnethon, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the paper. "Beyond cost savings and increased productivity, visionary employers are realizing the value of an employee's total health. An effective worksite wellness program can attract exceptional employees, enhance morale and reduce organizational conflict."

With more than 130 million Americans employed across the United States, prevention activities have the potential to reach a large audience.


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SOURCE American Heart Association
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