Background

The ability to meet current and ongoing financial obligations, known as financial well-being (FWB), is not only associated with the likelihood of adverse health events but is also affected by unexpected health care expenditures. However, the relationship between FWB and common health outcomes is not well understood. Using data available in the Financial Well-Being Scale from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we evaluated the impact of four vascular conditions—cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, high blood pressure (BP), and high cholesterol—on FWB and how these impacts varied between racial and ethnic groups.

Methods

Using the Understanding America Survey—a nationally representative, longitudinal panel—we identified adults with self-reported diagnoses between 2014 and 2020 of high cholesterol, high BP, stroke, and CVD. We used stratified, longitudinal mixed regression models to assess the association between these diagnoses and FWB. Each condition was modeled separately and included sex, age, marital status, household size, income, education, race/ethnicity, insurance, body mass index, and an indicator of the condition. Racial and ethnic differentials were captured using group-condition interactions.

Results

On average, Whites had the highest FWB Scale score (69.0, SD=21.8), followed by other races (66.7, SD=21.0), Hispanics (59.3, SD=21.6), and Blacks (56.2, SD=21.4). In general, FWB of individuals with vascular conditions was lower than that of those without, but the impact varied between racial and ethnic groups. Compared with Whites (the reference group), Blacks with CVD (−7.4, SD=1.0), stroke (−8.1, SD=1.5), high cholesterol (−5.7, SD=0.7), and high BP (6.1, SD=0.7) had lower FWB. Similarly, Hispanics with high BP (−3.0, SD=0.6) and CVD (−6.3, SD=1.3) had lower FWB. Income, education, insurance, and marital status were also correlated with FWB.

Conclusions

These results indicated differences in the financial ramifications of vascular conditions among racial and ethnic groups. Findings suggest the need for interventions targeting FWB of individuals with vascular conditions, particularly those from minority groups.

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