The Science of Million Hearts®
- Combined nutrition and sales data from 2009 show that fewer than half of selected food products met FDA sodium-per-serving conditions for labeling as “healthy.” Regional differences in hypertension were not reflected in differences in the sodium content of packaged foods from grocery stores. Findings suggest that current food environments, regardless of location, make it difficult to meet the standard sodium recommendations.
- CDC study reveals sodium reduction opportunities nationwide.A 2013 survey of more than 180,000 adults across 26 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico revealed that just over half of respondents reported taking action to watch or reduce sodium intake, while about 1 in 5 said they received professional medical advice related to sodium reduction. Among adults who self-reported hypertension, 20% (Puerto Rico) to 50% (Utah) did not report taking action to reduce sodium intake. This is the first report to provide state-level estimates of sodium intake behavior among the general population. It highlights the opportunity to increase the proportion of health care professionals who advise their patients to reduce sodium intake and the proportion of U.S. adults who take action to reduce sodium intake.
- Clinicians’ use of electronic health records as a quality improvement tool key to reducing cardiovascular disease. HHS will invest $840 million over 4 years to help 150,000 clinicians across the United States. The funding will help clinicians improve patient outcomes, reduce unneeded tests, and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. With an ambitious timeline toward value-based care, HHS hopes to tie 85% of all traditional Medicare payments to quality or value by 2016.
- Public health interventions that engage community health workers (CHWs) in team-based care can help people manage risks for and prevent heart disease. According to a new systematic review of 31 studies by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, using a team-based care model through which CHWs work with patients, physicians, nurses, and other health care providers led to large improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol patient outcomes. CHW’s training to deliver culturally appropriate health education and information gives them the ability to make a real impact on patients’ lives. The Task Force provides heart disease and stroke prevention resources for CHWs on its website.