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Million Hearts® / Cardiovascular Health Improvement

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Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG) has compiled several crucial cardiac-related resources and tools below, including those provided by the Million Hearts® initiative. In particular, to allow easy access to the most current Million Hearts materials, HSAG has embedded its microsite, which will open into a separate window. Click on this link microsite or the image below to access it. 

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2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults

The Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) released its 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults.

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AHA Cardiac Disease Prevention Guidelines

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology released four new guidelines in 2013 dealing with the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

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AHA Enduring Webinar: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hypertension: Beginning the Conversation

The American Heart Association (AHA) presents, as part of its professional education Spotlight Series, "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Hypertension: Beginning the Conversation." Using case studies, this webinar identifies opportunities where clinicians can provide better management of...

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AHA Heart Risk Tool Overstates Risk

The most influential American Heart Association (AHA) calculator of the risk of having a heart attack or stroke overstimates the likelihood of those events by 500 percent or more, according to a recent Kaiser study. Many physicians use the tool , meaning that many people may have been needlessly...

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Alzheimer’s Protein Plaques May Also Harm the Heart

The amyloid beta plaques present in Alzheimer’s patients may also be involved in stiffening heart muscle tissue, spiking their risk of heart failure. This U.S. News & World report article summarizes the findings of a small study of people in their late 70s, involving those who were healthy and...

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American Heart Association HeartHub™ Video Library

The American Heart Association has compiled patient-friendly videos on heart care, heart disease, and diabetes management.

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Blood Pressure Management

The New England Journal of Medicine has produced a clinical training video demonstrating the proper blood pressure measurement protocol.

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Blood Test for Hidden Heart Disease in Men

Researchers from Edinburgh and Glasgow have found that men with higher levels of troponin in their blood were more likely to have a heart attack or die of heart disease up to 15 years later. The 3,300 men enrolled in the study had no prior history of heart disease, but had high cholesterol. The...

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Calcium Supplements May Not Be Heart Healthy

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have published a study suggesting that dietary calcium supplements—not calcium-rich foods— might harm the heart. That is, excess calcium may harm the heart and vascular system. Given that nearly 43 percent of U.S. adults take a supplement...

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Cholesterol and Statins Infographic

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has created an infographic on cholesterol and statins, educating viewers on the role of cholesterol and how to keep it in check.

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Cholesterol Guide

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health developed a guide to help patients talk to their doctors, pharmacists, or nurses about how to best control cholesterol. This guide lists the different kinds of medicines to control cholesterol. Patients are advised to ask their...

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Cholesterol Resources

Learn about cholesterol and get the resources necessary to prevent or treat high cholesterol at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website. For resources directed exclusively to healthcare workers, visit the American Heart Association to obtain its cholesterol guide toolkit.

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Cholesterol Resources for Professionals

The American Heart Association (AHA) has assembled a toolkit for physicians to tap, including a pocket guide on how to initiate a conversation with patients on cholesterol management, along with guidelines for treating high cholesterol. The AHA also offers downloadable materials such as a referral pad for guiding patients to join Heart360, a waiting room poster, and a quick start guide.

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Daily Exercise May Halve Risk for Heart Failure

Most studies have dealt with the relationship between exercise and heart disease. This unique study addressed exercise and heart failure. This is a Swedish study which looked at 40,000 patients, starting in 1997, who did not have heart failure at study onset. Published in Circulation: Heart Failure...

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Developmental Cause of Cardiac Hypertrophy Discovered

Adult onset of cardiac hypertrophy—a dangerous thickening of the heart muscle that can result in heart failure and death—now has been revealed to have genetic mutations as its cause, according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Signaling pathways responsible for heart cell...

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Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)

DASH is a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps creates a heart-healthy eating style for life.

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Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has just released the latest dietary guidelines to the American public. The 2012-2020 Dietary Guidelines provide a path for all interested parties to make healthier eating choices founded on evidence-based findings.

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Disruptive Sleep Patterns Could Raise Heart Disease Risk

A study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Hypertension, discovered that people who lack adequate sleep or experience disordered sleep cycles may be increasing their chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Those at particular risk include shift workers.

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Do Social Ties Affect Our Health?

This National Institutes of Health (NIH) News in Health article discusses studies showing a correlation between social relationships and stress reduction and low heart-related risks.

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Exercise and Vitamin D Support Heart Health

In a Johns Hopkins research study, investigators found that Vitamin D and exercise work better together to support heart health. More than 10,000 health records were examined by these scientists across a span of 20 years. They discovered that exercise correlated positively with Vitamin D levels, so...

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Familial Hypercholesterolemia Ups Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Research now suggests that patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) bear a dramatic increase in risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). People with FH are more likely to contract ASCVC up to 20 years earlier in men and 30 years...

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FDA Approves First Absorbable Stent for Coronary Artery Disease

On July 5, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Absorb GT1 Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold System (BVS), the first absorbable stent for coronary artery disease, which releases the drug everolimus to limit the growth of scar tissue and is gradually absorbed by the body in...

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Gender-Related Disparities in Care and Outcomes After Hospitalization for Coronary Artery Disease Among Older Adults

Based on a cohort study of 49,358 patients ages 65 and older, researchers found that women were less likely to receive optimal care and more likely to have higher mortality if they received suboptimal care. In addition, researchers discovered that blacks were more likely to die than whites...

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Gene Protects Women from Heart Disease, Study Finds

Researchers from the University of Southern California have detected a gene variant that decreases the risk of heart disease, but only in women. Those who possess the CPS1 gene had a 12 percent decreased risk for heart disease, but offered no protective effect in men. CPS1 has a strong effect in...

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Heart Attacks Are Linked to Patients’ Activity Level and Emotional State

A global study involving 52 countries concluded that prior activity and emotional state was linked to patients who experienced heart attacks. Researchers studied more than 12,000 patients who had experienced heart attacks for the first time. Nearly 75 percent of the patients were men, age 58 on...

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Heart Disease Protein Linked to Brain Damage

Investigators from the Netherlands studied more than 10,000 subjects tracking levels of NT-proBNP, a protein released into the bloodstream when cardiac wall stress occurs. The researchers discovered an association between higher NT-proBNP levels and brain damage (e.g. smaller brain volume, poorer...

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Heart Failure Therapy Could Prevent Substantial Number of Deaths, Study Finds

A University of California, Los Angeles study estimates that almost 28,500 deaths could be prevented each year in the US through use of a new FDA-approved class of cardiovascular medication ('angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor' [ARNI] therapy) that helps reduce mortality in patients...

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Hispanics, Blacks Less Likely to Get High Blood Pressure Treatment

In a study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes on January 17, 2017, investigators found that American Americans and Hispanics are less likely than whites to control their blood pressure. The U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reviewed data from 8,800...

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Home Health Agency Cardiovascular Data Registry Resources

Home Health Quality Improvement has compiled an extensive list of Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry resources for download as a .pdf.

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Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry Guide

Home Health Quality Improvement has released its Home Health Cardiovascular Data Registry User Guide as a Word document.

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How to Track Your Sodium and Change Your Salty Ways

The American Heart Association (AHA) provides a handy sodium tracker to help people stay within the recommended daily allowance (1,500 mg per day for adults). The AHA has designed a Change Your Salty Ways tip sheet to help people alter their eating habits across six weeks. For an overview, read the...

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Hypertension Management App

The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) has made available its Hypertension Management App on its site. Through a collaboration of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Ohio Academy Family Physicians, and Park Bench Digital, the Check it. Change it. Control it. Your Heart Depends on It app...

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Hypertension Prevalence Estimator Tool

The Million Hearts® Hypertension Prevalence Estimator Tool provides the user with a health system’s expected hypertension prevalence, which is the estimated percentage of patients receiving care within the health system who have hypertension. Health systems (including practices) can compare their...

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Ibuprofen Claimed to Raise Cardiac Arrest Risk by a Third

Researchers have discovered a link between ibuprofen use and heart attacks in a clinical study of 29,000 patients who had experienced cardiac arrest. This Danish clinical study also separately looked at whether patients had taken non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Risk of cardiac...

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Involving Pharmacists in Care Decisions May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Canadian researchers discovered that pharmacist intervention in the care of patients lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease, including LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, HbA1c levels, and smoking status.

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Irregular Heartbeat Poses Greater Health Risk to Women: Women With Atrial Fibrillation Likely to Have Heart Disease

Women are at greater risk than men for strokes and heart disease if they have an irregular heartbeat, according to a recent clinical study that analyzed 30 studies involving more than 4 million participants. The study was published in the January 19, 2016 issue of the British Medical Journal, and...

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M.A.P. Checklist for Improving Blood Pressure Control

The American Medical Association and Johns Hopkins Medicine have created a tactical checklist to help providers improve BP control among their patients. M.A.P. means measuring accurately, acting rapidly, and partnering with patient, families, and communities to achieve blood pressure control.  To download this document you must set up a free account with AMA.

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Meal Timing Could Affect Cardiovascular Health

Meal timing matters when it comes to cardiovascular health, as confirmed by researchers at Columbia University. While an exacting prescription is not at hand, researchers have concluded that people should spread out their caloric intake at “defined” periods of the day as opposed to eating a lot for...

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Measurement of Cholesterol Function Might Provide Link to Heart Attack Risk in Patients with Psoriasis

In a study among psoriasis patients, conducted by the National Heart and Lung Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers have found that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function is a risk factor for developing atherosclerosis, which is a major cause of heart attacks. Recent...

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Men's Heart Health: What You Can Do To Improve It

HSAG has prepared a flyer describing how everyone can help improve the heart health of men. This includes medical professionals and lay people alike.

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Million Hearts® Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center

The Million Hearts® campaign has created a one-stop shop for heart healthy recipes, meal plans, and tips for healthier cooking.

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Million Hearts® Badges

Use these web badges on your organizational website to promote the Million Hearts® program.

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Million Hearts® Collaboration Focus: Talking with African-American Patients About Heart Health

February is home to both American Heart Month and Black History Month. To celebrate, we’re calling on health professionals to focus on talking with African American patients about their heart health. Why? Because African Americans are disproportionately affected by heart disease and stroke....

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Million Hearts® Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring Action Steps Infographic

An interactive infographic, from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Million Hearts® campaign, is designed to help healthcare providers learn about self-measured blood pressure (SMBP), the burden of high blood pressure, and the medical and financial...

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Million Hearts® Toolkit for Providers

The Million Hearts® campaign offers a variety of toolkits for physicians to expand existing heart disease and stroke prevention programs, and to recruit others to improve clinical preventive practice and community prevention.

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Not Just a Man’s Problem: The Deadly Cost of Underestimating Women’s Heart Disease

One in four females in the U.S. die from heart disease each year making it the leading cause of death for women in this country. Women are not treated as aggressively as men following a heart attack. This Health Affairs blog article gives an overview of health inequity by gender and its...

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Part D and Low-Income Beneficiaries Not Taking Blood Pressure Meds as Prescribed

Almost five million Medicare prescription drug enrollees aren’t taking their blood pressure (BP) medication as directed, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers examined 18.5 Medicare Part D enrollees in 2014, discovering that 26 percent either...

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Pay-For-Performance Incentive Program for Small Practices with Electronic Health Records (EHR) Improves Cardiac Outcomes

A study by the University of California, San Francisco, revealed that a pay-for-performance program in EHR-enabled small practices generated modest improvements in cardiovascular care processes and outcomes.

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Pharmacists Can Improve Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Outcomes in Stroke Patients

Research from the University of Alberta revealed that stroke patients managed by a pharmacist experienced a 12.5% improvement in blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein compared to a control group.

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Popular Energy Drinks Linked to Cardiac Arrests

Researchers in Australia have discovered that people with Long QT Syndrome —a cardiac disorder—are at risk for heart attacks after drinking Red Bull, a popular energy drink filled with caffeine. The bottom line is that such drinks can alter heart function and heart rhythm. Read more from this ABC...

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Preventing Myocardial Infarction and Stroke with a Simplified Bundle of Cardioprotective Medications

In the October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Managed Care, researchers led by R. James Dudl, MD, presented their findings on the use of a bundle of cardioprotective medications with simplified delivery and showed that this approach reduced the risk of hospitalization for myocardial infarction or stroke among patients at high risk.

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Proper Blood Pressure Measurement Training Video

Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG) encourages providers to view a training video on proper blood pressure measurement, offered by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health.

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Sedentary Time May Raise Heart Disease Risk

The American Heart Association has issued scientific statement in the journal Circulation stating that prolonged sedentary time is an independent risk factor for heart disease and stroke. While the AHA pronouncement does not specify exact time parameters to avoid for sedentary behavior, the...

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Seven Simple Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure

The American Medical Association has developed a visually-arresting infographic, describing seven easy steps to consistently obtain accurate blood pressure readings.

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Shoulder Problems Linked to Heart Disease Risk

According to a study led by Dr. Kurt Hegmann of the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Utah, people who have risk factors for heart disease are several times more likely to have shoulder and rotator cuff issues. More than 1,200 workers across...

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Six-Minute Test Predictive for Pulmonary Hypertension

According to a study published in the July 28, 2015 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, there is a six-minute walk stress echocardiography test that is predictive of pulmonary hypertension in connective tissue disease. Medicalxpress reports on this findings in its summary...

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Statins May Up Survival Odds After Cardiac Arrest

The chances of surviving cardiac arrest are increased for patients taking statins—cholesterol-lowering drugs. Investigators from Taiwan studied 138,000 cardiac arrest patients. Survival of hospital admission for cardiac arrest improved by 19 percent for patients taking statins, and by 47 percent to...

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Stress, Heart Health, and the Amygdala: Links Explained

Long term stress impacts heart health, but scientists hadn’t understood the physiological mechanisms causing this. New research sheds light on this relationship. One study published in the Lancet investigated whether the resting metabolic activity of the amygdala could predict cardiovascular...

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Stroke Treatment Saves Lives, Improves Recovery

Stent retriever therapy is a new tactic in the treatment of stroke, as described in the April 2016 issue of the journal Radiology. The study details its use as compared to the standard stroke treatment of tissue plasminogen to remove blood clots.

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Study Clarifies Risky Decision Making During a Heart Attack

Researchers from the University of Oklahoma discovered that the primary delay factor in determining how quickly acute coronary syndrome patients seek help is numeracy. That is, the ability to understand and apply numerical concepts is undermined during acute coronary episodes. Researchers...

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Texts from Doctor Boosts Cardiac Medication Adherence

A study found that recovering heart attack patients were more medication adherent when they received regular reminder text messages.

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Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (podcast)

Dr. Sana Al-Khatib, a cardiologist and cardiac electro-physiologist at Duke University Medical Center discusses the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's comparative-effectiveness research report to better understand how these findings can benefit practicing clinicians.

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Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (transcript)

Dr. Sana Al-Khatib, a cardiologist and cardiac electro-physiologist at Duke University Medical Center discusses the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's comparative-effectiveness research report to better understand how these findings can benefit practicing clinicians.

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Type 2 Diabetes Patients With High CVD Risk, Statin Intolerance Or Ineffectiveness Is Frequent

Among patients with type 2 diabetes with high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, index statin treatment modifications that potentially imply possible statin intolerance and/or ineffectiveness were frequent, according to researchers in this September 2015 British Medical Journal article. Low use of...

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Undiagnosed Hypertension

The Million Hearts® initiative has created a “Finding Undiagnosed Hypertensive Patients” video. Four essential steps are listed to help providers identify hypertension in their patient pool.

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Unhealthy Gut Microbes Linked to Cause Hypertension

According to researchers, microorganisms in the intestines were found to be involved in the development of hypertension in rats. A group of hypertensive fats was compared to non-hypertensive rats, and prior to a course of antibiotics, microbiota material was removed from each group. Following the...

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