In a recent study published in the JAMA Network Open Journal, researchers examined the utilization of wearable devices among individuals who have or are at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Study: Use of Wearable Devices in Individuals With or at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in the US, 2019 to 2020. Image Credit: LordBeard/Shutterstock.com
Wearable devices are being recognized to enhance the identification and management of CVD. Wearable devices have risen in the past decade, particularly for health monitoring throughout the pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The growing endorsement of wearable devices in clinical care by regulatory bodies and clinical societies prompts the need to assess whether the current uptake of these devices is sufficient for enhancing cardiovascular care on a national scale.
About the study
In the present study, researchers analyzed the sociodemographic trends in the usage of wearable devices among persons who have or are at risk for CVD between 2019 and 2020.
The study adhered to the STROBE reporting guideline for observational studies in epidemiology. The study combined Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) participants from 2019 and 2020 to form a representative sample for that time period.
The team utilized a two-stage probability sampling technique for each cycle. The Marketing Systems Group database stratified all nonvacant residential addresses in the United States according to the density of ethnic and racial minority populations.
Individuals having CVD and CVD risk factors were identified through a survey questionnaire. The study's main outcome was the percentage of participants who utilized wearable devices to track their physical activity and health within the last year.
The study also assessed the prevalence of these proportions in various CVD risk groups and socioeconomic and demographic subgroups at a national level. Furthermore, the team evaluated the frequency of using wearable devices and the willingness to share health-related information with clinicians.
HINTS included 9,303 participants between 2019 and 2020, with an average age of 48.8 years, of which 51% were women. Approximately 933 participants were diagnosed with CVD, representing 20.3 million adults in the US, with an average age of 62.2 years, including 43% women.
Over 5,000 individuals, accounting for 55.7% of the sample, were found to be at CVD risk, representing a total of 134.9 million US adults. Approximately half of the at-risk US adults were women; their estimated average age was 51.4 years.
The team also found that 12% of CVD patients aged 65 years or older, 18% of those aged 50 to 64 years, and 34% of those aged 18 to 49 years reported using wearable devices.
The usage of wearable devices among adults at CVD risk was found to be lower in the older age group, with 14% of those aged 65 years or older using them compared to 24% in the 50 to 64 years age group and 33% in the 18 to 49 years age group. Notably, sex did not affect the use of wearable devices in people with CVD or those at CVD risk.
Older individuals had significantly lower odds of using wearable devices than younger individuals, even after adjusting for demographic characteristics, CVD risk factors, and socioeconomic characteristics.
Specifically, those in the oldest age group reported only one-fifth of the likelihood of using wearable devices in the CVD patient population and one-third of the likelihood in the at-risk patients compared to persons aged between 18 and 49.
Additionally, wearable device usage did not show significant differences with respect to sex among CVD patients. However, women reported higher wearable device usage among US adults at CVD risk.
Individuals with CVD who have diabetes are less likely to use wearable devices than those without diabetes. However, no significant association was found between wearable device use and hypertension or obesity in this population.
Individuals with CVD and those at risk for it were significantly less likely to use wearable devices if they smoked cigarettes, with a reduction of over 90% and over 30%, respectively.
The study findings showed that approximately one-third of US adults, or 72 million people, use wearable devices. However, the use of these devices is only 18% among individuals with cardiovascular disease.
The study also revealed that wearable devices are not being utilized to their full potential by individuals with CVD, despite the increasing popularity of such devices in today's society. This underuse is significant compared to the general adult population in the United States. Innovative technologies for managing CVD may benefit certain people the most, yet these populations showed the least likelihood of using these devices.
Wearable devices may improve cardiovascular health, but current usage patterns could worsen disparities without equitable adoption techniques.