Detect. Connect. Control.: How Expanded Insurance is Improving Cardiovascular HealthPosted on by
An estimated 78 million Americans—that’s 1 in 3 people—have high blood pressure, and only about half of them have their condition under control, putting them at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney and heart failure. People with uncontrolled blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease.
Health care professionals play a vital role in diagnosing hypertension, connecting patients to appropriate clinical and community resources, and using evidence-based approaches like registries, systematic treatment protocols, and self-monitoring training to help patients achieve and maintain safe control.
Gaining access to these effective teams, technologies, and practices has been a challenge for people with hypertension. Uninsured Americans with hypertension are nearly 5 times more likely than those who have health insurance to have gaps in care and treatment, both of which contribute to lower control rates—and more preventable cardiovascular events.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers an opportunity to improve hypertension control—and cardiovascular health—by making the necessary connections accessible and available. As I read this month’s Preventing Chronic Disease article “Impacts of Health Insurance Expansions on Non-Elderly Adults with Hypertension,” I was energized to see just how much of an impact we can have—even in just 1 year—by ensuring that people with hypertension connect to health care resources. Multiply that impact over years, and we will see healthier Americans, living lives free of cardiovascular disease and related disability.
This data shows a clear path toward reaching the Million Hearts® goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Just imagine what we can do together to Detect. Connect. Control. Find out more at millionhearts.hhs.gov/.
Janet Wright, M.D., F.A.C.C. Executive Director Million Hearts®