WASHINGTON, June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As we strive to make our nation a healthier environment for young and old, it's imperative to establish a framework of concrete goals to continue to move the needle in the right direction. That's why the American Heart Association is pleased with the priorities and recommendations in the National Prevention Strategy which emphasize prevention and wellness over sickness and disease. The association has maintained that individuals with optimal health at age 50 survive longer than those with one or more risk factors for heart disease and stroke, two of America's leading killers. And as life expectancy increases in many regions of the country, quality of life must remain a priority particularly for heart disease and stroke patients who often suffer from other related health issues in later years.
The preventive clinical and community goals of the plan align closely with the association's 2020 goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent. The clinical and community efforts are essential to increasing access to affordable preventive services and educating consumers about the importance of blood pressure and cholesterol screenings and aspirin and smoking cessation counseling to reduce their risk for disease.
Moving forward, we encourage federal agencies implementing the strategy to accept a broad range of community input and programs that are evidence-based and cost-effective. Community partner initiatives can thoughtfully inform and drive implementation of the plan, resulting in direct and actionable solutions.
Data collection must also play a key role to address health disparities and broaden knowledge of clinical service patterns, processes and patient outcomes. Clinical registries provide meaningful data about the health care needs and services used by patients that traditionally have been underrepresented in epidemiological studies and clinical trials.
We applaud the vision of the National Prevention Strategy and look forward to working collaboratively with government, industry, communities and strategic partners to help meet these important goals. www.HealthCare.gov/center/councils/nphpphc.
SOURCE American Heart Association