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Managing heart health with help from pharmacists and nurse practitioners

February 07, 2018 | Heart Health

Cardiovascular disease causes one of every four deaths in America, and continues to be a major health concern for every gender, race, ethnicity and geography. Women are especially affected, with more than 90 percent having at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke. The warning signs can differ between women and men, so knowing individual risk factors and taking a proactive approach to heart health management are crucial. Early action can save lives.

Managing Risk Factors

Some of the key risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and smoking. The CDC reports that about half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these risk factors. Yet, according to the findings from a recent CVS Health poll, many respondents are unaware of their own personal indicators of heart health, such as cholesterol level.

Pharmacists can be a key source of support for individuals looking to manage their heart health. Many of the conditions that increase the risk of heart disease require medication to treat, and taking those medications as prescribed can help reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event. Pharmacists can assist individuals in creating medication adherence plans, tracking progress and answering questions. Furthermore, pharmacists are some of the most accessible health care providers in the community.

Accessing Heart Health Resources

Beyond responsible medication management, regular screenings can also help to identify and curtail risk factors. Our poll data show that individuals value a few key qualities when considering a heart health screening – including a trusted provider (91%), affordability (86%) and convenience (86%).

With 1 in 2 Americans living within 10 miles of a MinuteClinic location, most individuals can access convenient and affordable heart health screenings close to home. Our nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide high-quality care and counseling for Americans looking to maintain and improve their heart health. Among the services MinuteClinic offers are cholesterol and diabetes screenings, blood pressure monitoring, and blood sugar tests. And during American Heart Month, in February, customers can go to any one of our 1,100+ MinuteClinic locations to receive a “Know Your Numbers” heart health screening every Wednesday at no cost.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve pharmacy care, visit our Health Care Delivery & Innovation information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. And to stay informed about the most talked-about topics in health care, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.