May is American Stroke Month, an important time to remember that stroke is now more common in women than men in the United States. The disease is also more deadly, with about 60% of stroke deaths happening in women. Recognizing that stroke affects women in unique ways, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association released the first guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women in 2014. Learn more and share these social media posts and graphicsabout stroke risk factors specific to women and how managing blood pressure is one of the best ways to help prevent stroke. Visit the Million Hearts® Twibbon page to add a Stroke Month banner to your Twitter profile image.
—Janet Wright, MD, FACC
Executive Director, Million Hearts®
Get Tweeting with @MillionHeartsUS
Join Million Hearts®(@MillionHeartsUS), the American Stroke Association (@American_Stroke), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (@NINDSnews) for a Twitter chat about stroke on Wednesday, May 27, from 12 to 1 p.m. ET! Experts will discuss stroke prevalence disparities, risk factors, signs of stroke, and life after stroke. Make sure to use #StrokeChatin your tweets to participate in the conversation and retweet your favorites!
Tools You Can Use
- Explore CDC’s new Community Health Worker (CHW) Toolkit—CDC has created a new toolkit with evidence-based research that supports the effectiveness of CHWs in cardiovascular disease prevention. The toolkit includes information that state health departments can use to train and further build capacity for CHWs in their communities, as well as helpful resources that CHWs can use within their communities.
- Watch a new video emphasizing the importance of team-based care for hypertension control—Research has shown that high blood pressure is most effectively treated by a team approach. The American Medical Group Foundation’s national Measure Up/Pressure Down® campaign has released a new "It Takes a Team" video that identifies eight care team members and the crucial roles they play in managing a patient’s high blood pressure.
- Listen to a newly launched podcast series on population health for clinicians—The New Hampshire Medical Society and the Institute for Health Policy Practice at the University of New Hampshire recently launched an eight-episode podcast series to give clinicians an overview of the principles and practices of population health. The series highlights Million Hearts® and features successful strategies to incorporate into your clinic and community to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Register to receive free CME credit.
Million Hearts® in the Community
- Put on your blue. Each June we celebrate Men’s Health Month, and the week leading up to and including Father’s Day is Men's Health Week. Anchored by a congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month celebrations take place across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other education and outreach activities. Visit Men’s Health Network to learn more.
- CDC launches new website about healthy food service guidelines. Every day, millions of Americans buy or are served food and beverages at their workplaces or in other community settings, such as hospitals, parks, and recreation areas. Healthy food service guidelines help create a food environment in which healthier choices are available to consumers. CDC offers resources for implementing food service guidelines to provide healthier food and beverage options as well as success stories featuring hospitals that have improved their environments to better support the health of their employees and communities.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield offers free blood pressure cuffs through Federal Employee Program (FEP). The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is empowering members to make healthier choices with a new program that targets heart health. The initiative, the FEP Coronary Artery Disease Management Program, supports Million Hearts® by providing free electronic blood pressure monitors for enrolled FEP members.
Let us know what you're doing to advance Million Hearts® in your community! Send us a short description with some key points, and we may feature you in a future e-Update!
The Science of Million Hearts®
- AHA, ACC, and ASH release scientific statement on the treatment of hypertension in patients with coronary artery disease. Using available evidence, the American Heart Association (AHA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), and American Society of Hypertension (ASH) released a joint scientific statement on the treatment of hypertension as it relates to coronary artery disease prevention and management for adults.
- Quality of care and patient safety are improving, particularly for hospital care, though additional work remains.The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released its 2014 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Report, which features annual trends on more than 250 measures of quality, access, and disparities in a broad array of health care services and settings. In particular, the report looks at the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on insurance coverage in the United States.
- Use of electronic health record (EHR) data for public health surveillance could streamline reporting. In a recent issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers analyzed electronic data for clinical quality measures that were submitted to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program to assess provider progress toward achieving blood pressure control among hypertensive patients. Approximately 63,000 health care providers reported at least once during 3 years, representing approximately 17 million patients with hypertension. On average, 62% of patients with hypertension had controlled blood pressure. Use of EHR data for public health surveillance could streamline reporting, facilitating more timely and possibly more complete data collection in key areas of public health concern.