Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

State and territorial health agencies (S/THAs) are key leaders in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Since 2013, ASTHO has partnered with CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention to support S/THAs through a learning collaborative to address hypertension. To date, the ASTHO/CDC Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Learning Collaborative has engaged 32 S/THAs in implementing innovative models to prevent hypertension through system changes and quality improvement processes.

Heart Disease Learning Collaborative Participants

Systems Change in Action

Systems Change Gears ASTHO/CDC Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Learning Collaborative has focused on systems change at four levels: data-driven action, financing and policy, standardizing clinical practice, and community-clinical linkages. Examples of S/THA-developed resources created through the learning collaborative are available in ASTHO’s Tools for Change resource library.

Tools for Change - Reducing Hypertension in States and Territories

State Learning Collaborative Tools for Change ASTHO has compiled more than 400 tools and resources from S/THAs, national organizations, clinical practices, payers, and federal agencies in a searchable online database to drive the work of states and territories to prevent heart disease and strokes. View all Tools for Change resources »

Focusing on Priority Populations with High Burden of Cardiovascular Disease

Black and African American Individuals
Black and African American individuals are 50% more likely to have hypertension and a higher heart disease mortality than whites. Economic and social conditions that create barriers to care can contribute to these disparities. To eliminate the disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease and advance health equity, it is important for S/THAs to tailor their heart disease and stroke prevention efforts to reach this population. S/THAs can focus on developing targeted protocols and medication adherence strategies to improve heart disease and stroke outcomes among this priority population.

Adults aged 35-64 years
According to CDC, 16 million heart attacks, strokes, and related heart-threatening events could occur by 2022. In 2016, one in three of these life-changing cardiovascular events happened in adults 35-64 years old. Compared to those 65 or older, 35-64 year-olds are more likely to use combustible tobacco and consume a higher amount of sodium. Only about 52.9% of adults ages 35-64 have their hypertension under control, making this group a priority for S/THA prevention efforts.

Individuals Heart Attack or Stroke History
Survivors of heart attack and stroke have a one-in-four chance of experiencing another cardiac event. However, managing risk factors, increasing medication adherence, attending follow-up appointments and cardiac rehabilitation, and receiving support can prevent another attack. S/THAs can play a crucial role by working with hospitals to set up automated referrals to ensure discharged patients receive follow-up care. Referring patients to accessible locations will help to increase participation.

Individuals with Mental Illness or Substance Use Disorder
Emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing are connected to cardiovascular health. Mental illness increases the risk of heart disease, and chronic conditions can increase the risk of developing a mental illness. Substance use can be dangerous for overall cardiovascular health. Smoking is the leading case of cardiovascular disease and is the single largest preventable cause of heart disease. To improve mental health and substance use disorder, it is important for S/THAs to partner with programs or organizations that serve people with mental illness or substance use disorder to support heart health and prevent heart disease.

Visit CDC's Preventing 1 Million Heart Attacks and Strokes page to learn more »

ASTHO/CDC Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Learning Collaborative Culminating Meeting

Where We've Been Infographic On July 30-31, 2018, ASTHO and CDC hosted state, territorial, and tribal teams from the ASTHO/CDC Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Learning Collaborative for a culminating meeting. Alongside the presentations and plenary sessions, Lisa Nelson from See in Colors graphically recorded the high-level concepts in real time. Learn more about the meeting and view the high-level graphical recordings »

ASTHO Supports Million Hearts

Million Hearts logo ASTHO is a member of the Million Hearts Collaboration. Established in 2015, the collaboration united national, state, and local partners to implement evidence-based cardiovascular disease prevention strategies to prevent one million heart attacks by 2022. The collaboration focuses on the Million Hearts priorities of keeping people healthy, optimizing care, and reaching priority populations.