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Regional prevention project involving 10,000 adults cuts heart attacks by 25 percent
Date:4/3/2011

The Heart of New Ulm Project, which is merging environmental, peer leadership and individual interventions across an entire rural Minnesota community with the assistance of a healthcare system, worksites and the general community to prevent coronary heart disease, has shown a 24 percent reduction in the number of acute heart attacks in a five-quarter period, compared with the previous five-quarter period of evaluation.

This study will be presented at the 60th annual American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions in New Orleans on April 3.

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project is a 10-year initiative seeking to prevent the occurrence of heart attacks among a population of approximately 10,000 adult residents who reside in the region of New Ulm, Minnesota, said study co-author Jackie Boucher, MS, Vice President of Education at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. This project is unique in that a healthcare system is supporting a community-driven project that encourages a large population to embrace lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and improved nutrition that could improve long-term heart health, with the assistance of local employers and innovative healthcare technology.

Research, such as a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, has shown that preventive care is the number one factor responsible for reducing cardiovascular mortality in the United States over the past 20 years, explained Thomas Knickelbine, MD, cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Knowing that preventive care is a critical component in reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease, which is consistently the number one killer in the U.S., was a major motivation behind the Heart of New Ulm Project, he said.

For the current analysis of the project, the researchers conducted a quality improvement analysis to quantify the absolute number of unique acute heart attack events
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Contact: Meghan Bethke
mbethke@mhif.org
612-863-5410
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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