HHS, Partners Announce Million Hearts Campaign

It aims to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes within the next five years through healthy choices and “ABCS”: Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, Smoking cessation.

Another campaign aiming to spur Americans to cease unhealthy habits has begun. The Million Hearts Campaign from HHS is focused on cardiovascular disease risk factors and involves several partners, including the American Heart Association and Walgreens. The campaign's goal is preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes within five years by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices and also increasing aspirin use among people at risk, blood pressure and cholesterol control, and smoking cessation.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the campaign will create a national focus on combating heart disease."Heart disease causes one of every three American deaths and constitutes 17 percent of overall national health spending," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sept. 13. "By enlisting partners from across the health sector, Million Hearts will create a national focus on combating heart disease."

According to HHS, Americans' cardiovascular disease costs $444 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity. The goals include bringing about a 20 percent reduction in Americans' average daily sodium intake and a slight reduction in the baseline level of smoking by 2017.

CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., MPH, said achieving the goals would mean that 10 million more Americans with high blood pressure will have it under control, 20 million more Americans with high cholesterol will have it under control, and 4 million fewer Americans will smoke by 2017.

Partners from the private sector include:

  • AHA, which will help to monitor progress toward the goals and provide consumers with access to heart health management tools, including Heart 360, My Life Check, and the Heart Attack Risk Calculator
  • Walgreens, which will engage its more than 26,000 health care providers to support the campaign's prevention goal by providing blood pressure testing at no charge in consultation with a Walgreens pharmacist or Take Care Clinic Nurse Practitioner
  • The Y, which will try to expand coverage of its Diabetes Prevention Program as well as the successful National Diabetes Prevention Program and CDC's Healthy Communities Program to better address risks for diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke
  • America's Health Insurance Plans, whose members will increase their efforts to reduce cardiovascular disease (including programs from UnitedHealthcare, WellPoint, Aetna, and Cigna)
  • The American Pharmacists' Association and the American Pharmacists' Association Foundation, which will encourage more than 62,000 members to raise awareness among patients and in their communities about the campaign
  • The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, the Alliance for Patient Medication Safety, and the National Community Pharmacists Association
  • The American Medical Association and American Nurses Association

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