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New Campaign Aims to Save a Million Hearts

Be one in a million hearts. Get Involved.
This week several government organizations banded together to launch Million Hearts, an initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. By promoting new methods of identifying cardiac risk factors, making sure patients receive treatment, and supporting healthy lifestyles the initiative wants to drastically improve overall cardiac health.

The Department of Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Food and Drug Administration and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have partnered with private groups including the American Heart Association and YMCA of America (along with many others) to create such a wide-reaching program. More than $200 million in funding is being allocated to this initiative which will be invested in prevention and outreach programs around the country.

To reach its goal of 1 million heart attacks and strokes avoided, Million Hearts is focusing on empowering Americans to make healthy choices and improving care. As the basis for improving care, Million Hearts is emphasizing the ABCS, or “Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation” to circumvent the main contributing factors of heart disease. Starting in 2012, community health centers will be required to report annually on ABCS measures which will be tracked at the national level to improve performance.

Not only do these severe health conditions take a toll on public health (1 in 3 deaths in the US are attributed to cardiovascular disease), but also on public health spending. According to the Million Hearts website, “heart disease and stroke are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing the nation today, accounting for more than $444 billion in health care expenditures and lost productivity in 2010 alone.”

Here are just a few of the programs being launched by private companies as part of the Million Hearts campaign:

  • Walgreens will be offering free blood pressure testing at their locations when you have a consultation with one of their pharmacists or on-site nurse practitioners.
  • YMCA will be expanding their Diabetes Prevention Program to address diabetes, heart attack and stroke risks among their communities.
  • The American Heart Association will monitor the progress of Million Hearts and provide health management tools like Heart 360, My Life Check and the Heart Attack Risk Calculator to consumers.

Want to get involved with Million Hearts? You can connect with them on Facebook or learn more on their website.


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