This April, Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network supports National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, minorities are far more likely than non-Hispanic whites to suffer from chronic conditions, many of which are preventable. One such condition is heart disease.
The Million Hearts® initiative reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death for all adults in the United States. However, there are big differences in the rates of heart disease and stroke between different racial and ethnic groups.
According to Million Hearts®, African Americans have the highest rate of high blood pressure of all population groups, and they tend to develop it earlier in life than others. Additionally, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for U.S. adults, but the risk of having a stroke varies. Compared to whites, African Americans are nearly twice as likely to have a first stroke. Hispanic Americans' risk falls between the two. African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to die following a stroke than are whites.
“While all Americans should know the risk factors for heart disease, it is especially important for those who are at the greatest risk to develop these health conditions,” says Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network Director Rebecca Cochran, MSN, RN, CPHQ. “Talk to your doctor to find out if you are at risk. And, find out what steps you can take to keep your heart healthy.”
As a Medicare Quality Innovation Network, Quality Insights collaborates with healthcare providers, patients and family members and communities to improve the prevention and treatment of heart disease. According to Million Hearts®, most risk factors for heart disease and stroke—specifically high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity—are preventable and controllable.
Visit the For Patients
section to download free heart healthy tools like the Smoking Cessation Patient Toolkit, the Blood Pressure Tracker and the 10 Tips to Cut Sodium flyer.