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

(both incident and recurrent) over 10 quarterly periods between January 2008 and June 2010. The first five quarters represented the period before active interventions began and the last five quarters represented the period since active interventions began. The population included all the adult residents (approximately 10,000) of the 56073 zip code (i.e., New Ulm, Minn.).

They recorded both fatal and non-fatal acute heart events via an electronic surveillance system. One unique aspect of this population is that more than 92 percent have their data in an electronic health record, which serves as a helpful surveillance database, Boucher said.

Through the electronic health records, the healthcare professionals were able to identify high-risk individuals for cardiovascular disease, such as those with pre-diabetes, diabetes, high body mass index or a family history, and recommend the appropriate exercise programs, nutrition plans and medical strategies.

In addition to the 24 percent reduction in acute heart attacks, there were no fatal heart attack events in three of the last five quarters; but there were fatal acute heart attack events in each of the first five quarters. Total acute heart attacks were 62 in the pre-intervention quarters versus 47 in intervention quarters.

The community has played a large part in the ongoing project by embracing the project. In random telephone surveys, 94 percent of respondents reported they believe the Heart of New Ulm Project will be successful in achieving its mission to reduce heart attacks, explained Boucher. The community is engaged at every level, from schools to worksites to lay health leaders to the providers within the health care system which has been a huge contributor to the project success, she said.

The first health screenings took place from April to November of 2009 and almost 5,200 people took part. We are hoping to get at least 60 percent of the people who got screened in 2009 to d
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Contact: Meghan Bethke
mbethke@mhif.org
612-863-5410
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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