A Resilient Heart Is a Healthy Heart

Article | February 2021

American Heart Month: A Resilient Heart Is A Healthy Heart

People who “bounce back” routinely check their heart disease risk

Taking Resilience to Heart

People with higher levels of personal resilience — our ability to recover quickly from challenges — also are more proactive with their heart health. According to a recent Cigna-Ipsos survey, individuals who are more resilient are also more likely to have their annual physical exam and have their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, which help them keep better tabs on their risk for heart disease.1

  • 67% of the more resilient individuals report seeing a doctor for a medical exam within the last twelve months, compared to 54% of the less resilient individuals.
  • 20% of individuals in the less resilient group report either having their last medical checkup three or more years ago or not knowing when they had their last exam, compared to 8% in the more resilient group. 
  • 79% of individuals in the more resilient group report having their blood pressure checked by a health care professional within the past year, compared to 61% of individuals in the less resilient group.  
  • 62% of more resilient individuals report completing the bloodwork for a cholesterol level check within the past year, compared to 44% of less resilient individuals.             

Reducing Risk during Trying Times

As the nation continues to deal with the current COVID-19 crisis, building inner-resilience becomes especially important during American Heart Month. Without the ability to cope with challenges, people are more likely to experience stress, anxiety, and depression — which can cause increased heart rate and blood pressure, reduced blood flow to the heart, and a buildup of cortisol. Any of these effects can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.2 

Curious about Your Own Resilience Levels?

A new questionnaire is available on CignaResilience.com to help people measure how resilient they are today, and offers advice to help build resilience for tomorrow. 

How Employers Can Help

To help bolster heart heath, as well as overall well-being, there are a number of ways employers can help strengthen workforce resiliency by providing an array of support resources that are meaningful to their diverse employee population. To find out more, please visit CignaResilience.com. 

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[1] Findings from an Ipsos poll conducted January 8 to January 11, 2021 on behalf of Cigna. For the survey, a sample of 2,010 adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Resiliency was determined by the Resilience Research Centre Adult Resilience Measure (ARM-R) (less resilient: score of 7-24; more resilient: score of 25-35).

[2] The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease and Mental Health Disorders; May 6, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/mentalhealth.htm.