In the News: Jan 16–23

Blood Pressure Trajectories Differ According to Sex

A recent JAMA study aimed to uncover how blood pressure (BP) patterns change over time and how these changes may differ between sexes. Conventional analysis suggests women begin to experience vascular disease and decline at about the same pace as men by midlife. However, when considering that basic vascular functionality differs between men and women, data might offer new insights as to why cardiovascular disease onset does not align between sexes.

This longitudinal study consisted of over 144,000 observations collected over a span of 43 years (between 1971 and 2014). Approximately 54% of participants were women between the ages of 5 and 98 years old. The main observed outcomes pertained to sex-specific changes in primary BP compared to baseline levels, as well as onset of new cardiovascular disease events. Ultimately, the analysis uncovered that women exhibited steeper increase in BP as early as 30 years of age, which continued throughout the course of life.

In contrast to the belief that women lagged men by almost 20 years when it came to vascular disease onset, this study brings to light the importance of differentiating disease monitoring according to sex, as symptoms present differently in women when compared to men. Patient-centered strategies focused on gender-specific care can help capture market share by addressing unmet needs within the community. To learn more about trends in cardiovascular services for women, please read Sg2’s FAQ Breaking into Gender-Specific Medicine: Women’s Heart Programs.

Generation Z Pushes Providers to Rethink Consumerism

A recent FierceHealthcare article highlights Generation Z and the way it is changing health care delivery expectations. Gen Z’s expectation of convenience and on-demand services will have health care providers thinking of innovative ways to serve it, as these younger adult patients prioritize convenience over traditional patient-provider relationships and are focused on overall holistic health and wellness.

Generations used to a world with Internet, smart devices and applications focus less on data and privacy than previous generations. Younger adults are willing to exchange data privacy for the convenience of access, and a clear priority of younger adults is to have a convenient health care experience. Gen Z does not want long wait times or to travel far distances for care, which means they may be more willing to leverage technologies to help facilitate convenience. Additionally, Gen Z is seeking different types of care and is looking for a trusted advisor to guide them toward whole-person wellness. The article highlights that the younger generation is specifically looking for advice on how decisions could play into overall nutrition, fitness, sleep and stress management.

For insights on various segments and strategies to meet consumer needs, please read Sg2’s report Engaging the New Health Care Consumer.

Physicians Are Willing to Take Pay Cuts for Work-Life Balance

A recent FierceHealthcare article highlights a Medscape survey of over 15,000 physicians that found half would willingly take an annual salary reduction up to $20,000 for less working hours and better work-life balance.

Contrary to other studies, this sentiment was shared across generations—including Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers—even though younger physicians typically earn less than their senior colleagues. That said, even though overall burnout rates have dropped, burnout was worse among midcareer doctors compared to younger and older physicians. Women also reported more burnout than men, and, overall, burnout was attributed to administrative tasks, such as EHR.

Hospitals and health systems must think strategically about workforce to mitigate burnout and maximize performance. For a comprehensive approach to strategic workforce planning, please read Sg2’s report Strategic Workforce Planning: Finding Focus.

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