Million Hearts initiative strikes at leading killer of Americans

December 25, 2015

"Where you live and how you live matters to your heart," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H . "The Million Hearts national initiative, which can prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years, focuses on actions people can take themselves and actions that businesses, communities and health providers can take to prevent heart attacks and strokes today."

Million Hearts seeks to improve clinical care by helping patients learn and follow their ABCS:

Aspirin for people at riskBlood pressure controlCholesterol managementSmoking cessation

Fewer than half of Americans who should be taking an aspirin a day are taking one; fewer than half of Americans with high blood pressure have it under control.  Only 1 in 3 Americans with high cholesterol is effectively treated, and less than a quarter of Americans who smoke get help to quit when they see their doctor.

"We're all at risk for heart disease and stroke," said Jing Fang, M.D., epidemiologist with CDC's Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. "People of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities are affected.  However, certain groups, including American Indians/Alaskan Natives, African Americans and older adults, are at higher risk than others."

SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)