I am delighted to report that we are making major progress toward preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes. Compared to 2011, nearly 4 million fewer people smoked tobacco in 2014. A new agreement is in place to provide 2 billion healthier meals per year in schools, sports venues, and businesses. Through efforts using health information technology tools, more than half a million people have been identified as having elevated blood pressures but no formal diagnosis of hypertension. We are making great strikes toward our goal, but our work is far from complete. You can accelerate this progress by helping to identify and treat individuals with undiagnosed hypertension; assisting the millions who want to stop smoking in their process to quit; and encouraging consumers to choose lower sodium alternatives. Among the specific actions you can take are promoting the Tips From Former Smokers messages, supporting the 2015–2020Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and seeking out patients with undiagnosed hypertension and connecting them with tools to control their numbers. We look forward to working together to make 2016 a great year for heart health—and to achieving the Million Hearts® goal.
—Janet Wright, MD, FACC
Executive Director, Million Hearts®
Adopt one healthy behavior during American Heart Month
How can we get a jump start on our 2016 goals? Participate in the heart health challenge and share your success on theMillion Hearts® Facebook page.American Heart Month in February is the perfect time for all of us to adopt one new heart-healthy behavior and make a lasting impact.
Tools You Can Use
- Coming soon: Get ready for NEW materials to help find individuals with undiagnosed hypertension—Millions of Americans have elevated blood pressure but are not yet diagnosed, remaining at risk for cardiovascular disease. Within the system but below the radar, these individuals are “hiding in plain sight.” To help identify those at risk, a collection of new clinician resources will soon be available, including an interactive Hypertension Prevalence Estimator Tool and a short whiteboard animation that explains the concept and key steps to take. Check back on the Million Hearts®website soon for the launch and check out the National Association of Community Health Centers’ Undiagnosed Hypertension Change Package for some background in the meantime.
Million Hearts® in the Community
- Did you know high blood pressure could increase your risk for dementia later in life? The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recently launched Mind Your Risks, an educational campaign to raise awareness about the need to control blood pressure in midlife (from the ages of 45 to 65) to help reduce the risk for stroke and dementia later in life. Visithttps://MindYourRisks.nih.gov to learn more about the campaign.
- Sign up for a webinar on strategies to help your campus quit smoking. Join the Tobacco-Free College Campus Initiative (TFCCI)on February 4 for the first installment of the 2016 TFCCI Webinar Series, which will explore how college campuses across the country are addressing smoking cessation.
- Submit your One Brave Idea to end coronary heart disease. The American Heart Association, Verily, and AstraZeneca have teamed up to award $75 million to a leader with a bold vision to address coronary heart disease. Register now! Submission are due by 11:59 PM CT on February 14.
- Read success stories from the 2014 Million Hearts®Hypertension Control Champions. Learn about how past Champions helped their patients achieve safe levels of blood pressure control. These stories feature small practices, large health systems, federally qualified health centers, and providers specificallyaddressing health disparities. We look forward to announcing a new crop of Champions in May.
- Rochester, NY, business-led campaign moves the needle on high blood pressure. This High Blood Pressure Collaborative shares new evidence-based practices with physicians, assists with healthy workplace programming, supports health ministries in congregations, and trains barbers and hair stylists to take blood pressure measurements. The campaign has already demonstrated a 13.7% improvement in control rates.
- Wisconsin Blood Pressure Improvement CHALLENGE. The Wisconsin Heart Disease and Stroke Alliance invites clinicians, businesses, nonprofits, health organizations, clinics, pharmacies, and others to submit their stories of how they succeeded in blood pressure improvements in a clinical, community, or parish setting. We are excited to hear about more states adopting and performing their own Challenge!
- Green Spring Internal Medicine awarded for strategies to incorporate high blood pressure protocols into electronic health records (EHRs). The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced Green Spring Internal Medicine as the winner of Phase 2 in the EHR Innovations for Improving Hypertension Challenge. Learn about the winners by listening to thewebinar presented to the Hypertension Control Protocol Learning Collaborative.
- Support continues for New York City’s sodium warning label rule. The National Restaurant Association’s resistance to New York City’s sodium warning label requirement led several organizations, including the American Heart Association and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, to submit their support of the policy to the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Additionally, Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH, the city’s health commissioner, submitted an affidavit in support of the regulation.
- Apply for funding to work on reducing salt intake. CDC recently released Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DP16-1607: Sodium Reduction in Communities Program. More information about the FOA and application requirements is available on the CDC Salt website.
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®
- SPRINT results demonstrate lower blood pressure goals can reduce heart-related events and deaths. The much anticipated results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT)have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Make sure to also read Blood Pressure Matters: Keep Hypertension in Check, a story released by the National Institutes of Health based on the SPRINT results.
- Exploring cholesterol treatment eligibility and medication use among U.S. adults. A recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) revealed that half of U.S. adults eligible for cholesterol treatment were taking medications and that medication use and treatment eligibility greatly differed by sex and race/ethnicity.
- PCSK9 Inhibitors: how they work and who should get them.Watch this video to learn more about the new class of drugs for lowering cholesterol. View the video by creating a free account with Medscape.
- New 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are now available. Among the guidelines, the DASH Diet was recommended for adults who would benefit from lower blood pressure. Additionally, the DASH Diet was recently ranked number 1 in Best Diets Overall by U.S. News and World Report.
- Sodium intake exceeding recommended amounts. A recent CDCMMWR indicates that more than 90% of children and 89% of adults aged 19 and older in the United States consume more sodium than the recommended limits in the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.