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National Minority Quality Forum Provides Tracking Tool to Address Cardiovascular Disease in Minority Populations

American College of Cardiology and Association of Black Cardiologists Endorse Zip Code-Based Database

WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), one of the nation's leading voices in the health disparities discussion, is launching the CVD Atlas, a database that maps cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevalence nationwide, with the endorsement of the American College of Cardiology and support from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. This powerful endorsement and the launch of the CVD Atlas will be announced at the NMQF's Sixth Annual Health Disparities Leadership Summit on April 27th.

The CVD Atlas enables users to map the prevalence of CVD by state and by legislative district, as well as by age, gender, race and ethnicity. Minorities in the United States experience disparities in cardiovascular health that include higher rates of obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease and stroke.

"More must be done to reduce the disparities in cardiovascular health seen across the country. The CVD Atlas represents a new tool in our efforts to reduce health disparities. Our efforts can now be targeted to those who need help the most," said Dr. Jack Lewin, Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Cardiology.

The CVD Atlas is a component of the NMQF's zip code database, the Z Atlas. The Z Atlas offers similar tools for HIV/AIDS, chronic kidney disease and diabetes that are used by legislators, patient and minority advocacy groups, medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies to address health care issues that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic populations.

"We commend the National Minority Quality Forum for their data-driven commitment to reducing health disparities. The CVD Atlas will allow health disparities programming to be targeted to the communities that need them the most," said Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand, Chief Science Officer, Association of Black Cardiologists.

In addition to being used to view the prevalence of CVD on a local level, the CVD Atlas allows users to analyze data for the country as a whole. For example, the Atlas reveals that thirty-one percent of all "minority" zip codes have cardiovascular disease prevalence rates above the national average (a minority zip code is defined as having a population that is made up of 50% or more minorities).

"We are proud to receive the endorsement of the American College of Cardiology and the Association of Black Cardiologists, leading voices in the cardiovascular world, as well as the support of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. With their support, the CVD Atlas will help us to reduce the staggering burden of CVD in the U.S.," said Gary Puckrein, CEO, NMQF.

About the National Minority Quality Forum

Gary A. Puckrein, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Minority Quality Forum founded the organization in 1998 to address the critical need for strengthening national and local efforts to use evidence-based, data-driven initiatives to guide programs to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness for racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations.

Since 2004, the Forum has hosted the Annual Leadership Summit in April, focusing on disparities and improving quality of health care for all minorities. This event brings together congressional leaders, federal, state and local government, physicians, managed-care, pharmaceutical companies and patient and minority advocacy groups to support the implementation of integrated solutions to improve health care for minority populations.

For more information about the American College of Cardiology, please visit For more information about the Association of Black Cardiologists, please visit

SOURCE National Minority Quality Forum
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