By Bruce Japson | June 5, 2019

The expansion of Medicaid benefits has been linked to “lower cardiovascular mortality in middle-aged adults” in states that expanded such health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, new research indicates.

Heart attacks are a leading cause of death in the U.S. and new research in JAMA Cardiology from doctors at University of Pennsylvania shows a “significantly smaller increase” in cardiovascular mortality rates in counties located in states that expanded Medicaid compared with counties in states that didn’t expand such benefits under the ACA.

“This study shows an association between Medicaid expansion and differences in cardiovascular mortality rates between expansion and nonexpansion states for middle-aged adults,” Dr. Sameed Khatana of University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and his colleagues wrote in the conclusion of their investigation, which appears online Wednesday in JAMA Cardiology. “Given the high burden of cardiovascular risk factors among individuals without insurance and those with lower socioeconomic status, these results may be a consideration as policymakers debate further changes to eligibility and expansion of Medicaid.”

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