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Nation's Leading Preventive Health Groups Seek to Save Lives by Transforming Americans' Approach to Health
Date:2/11/2008

ost-effective ways to prevent heart disease and to facilitate dialogue about the importance of aspirin in preventing cardiovascular events," noted Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, former commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, director of the Institute for Health Policy at the University of Texas School of Public Health, and chair of the Partnership's National Commission on Prevention Priorities. "Our hope is that the aspirin therapy education program can be a model for how to improve the uptake of other preventive services."

"Heart Healthy Texas" and the pilot study are supported in part by educational grants from Bayer HealthCare.

ACPM and Partnership Studies Show Increased Aspirin Use Would Save Lives

The organizations' efforts are a response to several recent reports suggesting that better use of preventive strategies could save thousands of lives each year.

An August 2007 report by the Partnership calculated that 45,000 lives would be saved each year if more adults took a low-dose aspirin to prevent CV events.(3) The report, "Preventive Care: A National Profile on Use, Disparities, and Health Benefits," was funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the WellPoint Foundation. It reaffirms a prior Partnership report, which rated aspirin counseling as among the highest value preventive health services that, if optimized, would dramatically contribute to improved public health.

"The data are extraordinary," observed Dr. Sanchez. "If more people at risk for heart attack were on a simple and inexpensive doctor-recommended aspirin regimen, fewer people would die from heart disease. Period."

Underutilization of aspirin is a significant public health concern. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005 only 40 percent of men 40 years and older and women 50 years and older were using aspirin on a daily basis.(3)

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SOURCE American College of Preventive Medicine
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