American Heart Association

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Go Red for Women®

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women. That’s why CVS Health is proud to be the national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement to empower women to take charge of their heart health. We’re encouraging people across the country to make a donation to support heart health research and education. Donate today.

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Know your numbers

Five personal health numbers can help patients determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. The tests to determine these numbers are simple, and the results provide patients with the information they need to take steps toward improving their health, especially their cardiovascular health.


Local and affordable access to screenings

MinuteClinic is a local and affordable community health resource for your heart health needs all year long. No appointment is necessary, and 50% of Americans live within 10 miles of a MinuteClinic. Find a MinuteClinic near you.

In celebration of American Heart Month you can make a date with your heart and get a no-cost heart health screening at MinuteClinic® during select Thursdays in February (February 6, February 13 and February 20).

A pictogram representing a stethoscope.

Get a no-cost health screening

In celebration of American Heart Month, get a no-cost heart health screening at MinuteClinic® during select Thursdays in February.

Download the voucher

Seven tips from the American Heart Association to reduce risk for heart disease

Learn simple ways to help your heart stay healthy and reduce your risk.

Read more

Five numbers predict heart disease risk

As the national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Movement, CVS Health and MinuteClinic are reminding patients of the importance of “knowing their numbers” for heart health.

Read more

Two communities find healthy solutions that work

Two communities find healthy solutions that work
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Welcome to Healthy Communities News — where we highlight communities that are finding innovative solutions to solve local health challenges. Our first episode features communities battling two common and persistent problems: food deserts and heart disease. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, the East End Pop Up Market gives residents easy access to fresh food for the first time in four decades. In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, church leaders are mixing faith with fitness to stem the tide of heart disease and diabetes in their congregations.


New market gives Bridgeport residents access to fresh food

As the economy struggles and poverty rises in Bridgeport, manufacturing jobs are not the only thing leaving town: Residents have had to go farther and farther to find fresh food. But a group of local businesspeople is looking to reverse that trend. They’re opening the new East End Pop-Up Market, which will offer not only fresh food, but also job training and wellness workshops. It’s a solution that can be a model for food deserts across the country.


Bridgeport market gives entrepreneurs a jump start

Small businesses can revitalize neighborhoods – so the Bridgeport OIC is lending a hand to local entrepreneurs. We talk to Jeff Nelson of Seeding Knowledge, a start-up that plants and maintains gardens and sells produce. He’s expanding his services to the East End Pop-Up Market, where he’ll offer not only fruits and vegetables, but cooking classes and gardening instruction.


Faith begets fitness in Mecklenburg County

Faith leaders, county health officials, the local health system and community groups have proven that it takes a village to address local health issues. The Village HeartBEAT program created a fitness challenge in local congregations. The goal? To help residents battling heart disease and diabetes. The program uses exercise, nutrition and community gardens to help raise the spirits and lower the weight of participants.

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The #1 killer of women: Shining a light on cardiovascular disease

The #1 killer of women: Shining a light on cardiovascular disease
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The number one killer of women is cardiovascular disease. This stark statistic is why the American Heart Association’s national “Go Red for Women” movement is so important. Healthy Communities News was on hand at their annual star-studded Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York City, where we got the opportunity to sit down with four heart disease and stroke survivors for a roundtable discussion. Hear their stories of recovery and hope — and why we need to talk about women’s heart health.


Taking a deep dive into heart health

You can be young, look and feel healthy and still be at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Surprised? Healthy Communities News spoke with Dr. Mosca, a volunteer medical expert with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, to get a better of understanding of women’s heart health. We also sat down with Jenny Petz and Nicole Murray, two of the inspiring heart disease and stroke survivors chosen for Go Red for Women’s 2020 class of Real Women to hear their powerful stories of survival and recovery.

Dr. Mosca, a volunteer medical expert with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.
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Cutting hair and hypertension at Nashville barbershops

Cutting hair and hypertension at Nashville barbershops
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In Nashville, Tennessee, there’s a low-slung brick building nestled among fast food shops and a gas station on Clarksville Pike. It’s proudly painted red, white, and blue — a comfortable, well-worn spot that’s become a cultural hub for generations of African-American customers.

Barbershops are not just places to get a shave and a haircut. For African-American communities, they can also become havens for much-needed health care services. High rates of hypertension in this community are compounded by the fact that African-American men often aren’t receiving regular medical care.

To address this, a group of partners, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Nashville Health, and CVS Health, are placing pharmacists inside Nashville barbershops to test patrons for high blood pressure and recommend treatments.

Listen to this episode’s podcast for a deeper dive.

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Women’s heart attacks aren’t like men’s

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"I’ve always lived a healthy lifestyle," says Tasya Lacy from Columbus, Ohio, who has been teaching hula-hoop fitness classes for years. Yet, the day before Easter 2016, at age 50, she had a heart attack.

"I was exhausted and felt like I pulled muscle in my back," Tasya, now 54, recalls. "My husband rubbed my shoulders and felt my heart racing. He told me we we're going to the hospital. I didn’t think I needed to.”

Doctors found 99% blockage in Tasya’s main coronary artery, requiring three stents.

It’s common for women to miss signs of a heart attack because they present differently from men. A man is more likely to have chest pains, a woman may experience flu-like symptoms: nausea and vomiting, excessive sweating, exhaustion, or pain in their arm or back.

Listening to your body could be the difference between and life and death. Literally. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease is the No. one killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year. Often because they ignored the symptoms. And, 20% of women age 45 or older who have who have a heart attack will have a second heart attack within five years of their first.

CVS Health is the national presenting sponsor of Go Red for Women — the American Heart Association’s heart health movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.

MinuteClinic® offers chronic care management and preventative care all year long, including measuring risk factors for heart disease. “We’ve expanded our available health care services for patients with certain chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” shares Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner, MinuteClinic. “Our providers are able to screen, assess, treat and monitor these conditions, as well as order lab tests, recommend lifestyle changes, prescribe medications and educate patients about their conditions.”

There's one more risk factor exclusive to women: menopause.

"The combination of estrogen and progesterone before menopause seems to provide a protective element against heart disease in women," explains Allan Stewart, MD, Medical Director for HCA East Florida’s Miami-Dade Cardiovascular Surgery Programs. However, once a woman goes through menopause, her risk of heart attack increases significantly.

Tasya was post-menopausal when she had her heart attack. Now she knows a simple truth about her health — when in doubt, always seek medical care.

Get proactive with preventive care

Visit a MinuteClinic to learn your personal health numbers — a starting point for a discussion with your health provider on your risk for heart disease: Total cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI).

Visit cvshealth.com/GoRed to learn more.

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CVS Health to Offer No-Cost Heart Health Screenings in Support of Women's Heart Health

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Screenings available on select Thursdays in February at MinuteClinic locations nationwide

Customers can also support life-saving cardiovascular research and education with a donation at CVS Pharmacy or online

WOONSOCKET, R.I. As part of its continued support of the American Heart Association's (AHA) Go Red for Women movement during American Heart Month, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it will be offering no-cost "Know Your Numbers" heart health screenings at MinuteClinic, the company's retail medical clinic, on select Thursdays in February. MinuteClinic locations can be found inside select CVS Pharmacy and Target stores in 33 states and the District of Columbia.

"Nearly half of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure, which puts people at increased risk for major health problems including heart attack and stroke," said Lisa Bisaccia, Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health, and national volunteer chair for Go Red for Women. "Partnering with world-class organizations like the American Heart Association builds on our enterprise-wide efforts to prevent and manage chronic conditions like heart disease."

Additionally, CVS Pharmacy customers will once again have an opportunity to give the gift of heart health by making a $1, $3 or more donation to the AHA at the register at their local CVS Pharmacy stores through February 22. The funds raised will be used for life-saving cardiovascular research and education.

"I am thrilled to partner with CVS Health and the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement this February!" said EMMY Award-Winner and New York Times best-selling author Susan Lucci, who is a national ambassador for the AHA's Go Red for Women movement and is now teaming up with CVS Health to raise awareness about women's heart health in February. "I was so lucky to have narrowly missed a heart attack in 2018 and learned that it's so important that women all over this country and world put themselves and their health at the top of their to-do list. Awareness and education save lives!"

"We know that nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, yet most women don't know their personal health numbers that are critical to determining one's risk," said Angela Patterson, DNP, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, FAANP, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, CVS MinuteClinic and Vice President, CVS Health. "MinuteClinic provides an easy and convenient way to get this important health data, during February and all year long."

Consumers can visit their local MinuteClinic on February 6, 13, and 20 and receive a no-cost heart health preventive screening, supported by TYLENOL, to learn the five key personal health numbers that can help them determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.

MinuteClinic is a high-quality, convenient and affordable destination for preventive care all year long. For chronic conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, all of which can be risk factors for heart disease, MinuteClinic providers can screen, assess, treat and monitor these conditions, and educate patients about potential life style changes.

To receive a free screening, download the voucher, print a copy and bring it with you to scan at the MinuteClinic registration kiosk. Alternatively, you can use your mobile phone to show the voucher to the provider after you register at the kiosk. The voucher can be found at www.cvshealth.com/gored.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts

Erin Britt
401-770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

Mary Gattuso
401-770-9811
Mary.Gattuso@CVSHealth.com

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Re-Training Providers to Achieve Proper Blood Pressure Measurement

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A photo of a woman’s hand on a blood pressure cuff.

Getting your blood pressure checked is a familiar experience at the doctor’s office, but recent research suggests that it may not always be accurate.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), nearly half of all U.S. adults have high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and preventable death.  Accurate measurement of a patient’s blood pressure is vital to providing accurate diagnoses and quality care.https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2019-11/market-research-survey-bp-measurement.pdf

Given the importance of accurate blood pressure readings, clinical guidelines recommend that health care providers be periodically re-trained on proper BP measurement; however, recent market research conducted by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the AHA indicated this may not always be the case.

Based on this research, the AMA and AHA partnered with MinuteClinic, along with a leading health care organization and leading academic medical centers, to test a new e-learning module. The module, called Achieving Accuracy: BP Measurement, was designed to provide all front-line health care providers with access to consistent training on proper BP measurement and is now available for health care professionals through the AHA.

In the survey of more than two thousand health care providers, half of the physicians and physician assistants (PAs) who responded, and a third of nurse respondents, said they had not received BP measurement re-training since their initial training in school. However, there seems to be broad support among the survey respondents for BP refresher training, with three-quarters or more of the nurses, PAs, primary care providers and pharmacists surveyed noting that it should be required.

Some common BP measurement errors that can result in pushing a patient’s diagnosis from normal to elevated, include:

  • Taking a reading while a patient is sitting with their legs crossed, which can raise systolic pressure by 5 to 8 mm Hghttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17496470

  • Using the wrong cuff size, which can raise systolic pressure by approximately 10 mm Hghttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2911816

“Being able to test this new BP measurement re-training module with our providers on the front lines reinforces our long-standing commitment to advancing heart health and providing high quality care for our patients,” said David Fairchild, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, MinuteClinic. “Our providers appreciated the opportunity to be involved in this effort and we look forward to integrating this training into our clinical standards moving forward.”

A photo of a woman’s hand on a blood pressure cuff.
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Meeting Women’s Health Care Needs

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CVS Health works vigorously to expand access to high-quality, convenient and affordable women’s health care services through our MinuteClinic, retail pharmacies in communities nationwide and online or in the palm of their hand. As part of our focus on transforming the consumer health care experience, we are committed to providing women with access to the coordinated services and care they need to manage conditions and determine what is best for their health.

Providing Convenient Access to High-Quality Women’s Care

Women, who are often key in maintaining healthy families, access the health system more frequently than men, both for themselves and on behalf of their children. In turn, this means that their own health care can take a backseat to the needs of others.

Many women may find it difficult to receive care at a convenient time and location. For example, a survey conducted by Morning Consult and sponsored by CVS Health revealed that 90 percent of women consider the convenience of location important when accessing health services, while 85 percent consider flexible and extended hours important when selecting a health care facility.Morning Consult poll conducted from October 25-26, 2018, among a national sample of 2,201 adults

Our more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations offer a full range of essential women’s health services. These services include access to birth control, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, treatment for yeast infections and pregnancy, urinary tract and bladder infection testing. Additionally, MinuteClinic providers also help women better understand their reproductive health options and provide referrals to primary care physicians or OB/GYNs, as needed.

CVS Health also launched a MinuteClinic University Health program, aimed at addressing the health care gap when young adults leave home for school. Our MinuteClinic locations in certain geographic areas near universities and campuses offer additional services for sexual health, women’s health and well-being screenings.

Increasing Patient Access to Birth Control

Ensuring accessible and affordable medications, including birth control, is a priority at CVS Health. For example, CVS Pharmacy patients can pick up prescriptions ordered through the CVS app on their phone, online, in person at CVS retail pharmacies, or they can have their medications delivered through our home delivery program. Additionally, CVS Caremark Members can receive their prescriptions through our mail order pharmacy, and throughout our network of 68,000 retail and mail order pharmacies.

We also work with public health advocates across the country to ensure that women can be obtain a birth control prescription from their local pharmacist. Pharmacists are currently allowed to prescribe oral birth control medications through Prescriptive Authority and Collaborative Practice Agreements in 13 states and the District of Columbia – covering 2,464 CVS Pharmacy locations. And we will be able to do so in 14 more states by the end of the year.

Affordable Access in the Community

Through community partnerships and philanthropies, we are able to address some of the health challenges women face locally. The CVS Health Foundation has partnered with a variety of groups who are on the front lines of improving access to women’s health services.

For example, we’ve established a multi-year partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) with grants awarded to free and charitable clinics to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and lower overall health care costs. Today, 58 percent of NAFC patients are women – and they rely on 1,400 clinics nationwide for services including breast and cervical cancer screening, maternal and infant health and much more.https://www.nafcclinics.org/sites/default/files/NAFC%202019%20Infographic.pdf Since launching the partnership, the CVS Health Foundation has delivered a total of more than $4.5 million in funding to free and charitable clinics across the country.

Addressing Women’s Heart Health

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer among women and accounts for one-third of deaths annually.https://www.heart.org/-/media/data-import/downloadables/heart-disease-and-stroke-statistics-2018---at-a-glance-ucm_498848.pdf To address the widespread impact of this disease, we help women understand their risk for heart disease and empower them to take the next best action for their health. Throughout February 2019, we provided preventive heart health screenings at no cost in which women learned their five key personal health numbers that help determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.

Additionally, our support of the American Health Association Go Red for Women campaign, includes a new three-year, $15 million commitment to life-saving cardiovascular research and education.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Technology and health: Novel clinical trial reveals new way to diagnose people at risk of stroke, heart attack

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Use of an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring skin patch can improve the diagnosis of irregular heartbeat by nearly three-fold over a year compared to standard care – findings that suggest it may be possible to dramatically reduce the incidence of strokes, according to a recent study. The researchers also found that the unique clinical trial format — a collaboration among Aetna’s Healthagen Outcomes, Janssen Scientific Affairs and The Scripps Research Institute — was not only efficient, but also led to increased engagement with participants.

Findings from the “mHealth Screening To Prevent Strokes” (mSToPS) study were announced and discussed at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting on March 10.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications, according to the American Heart Association. The condition can be “silent,” which means a person may have the condition, but is unaware because they can’t feel it.

“Finding a silent atrial fibrillation can literally be a lifesaving measure,” said Van Crocker, President of Aetna’s Healthagen Outcomes.

Using Aetna claims data, the researchers identified people who qualified as a potential participant for the mSToPS trial. Over 52,000 people were invited to participate in the study via e-mail, and 50,000 were invited by direct mail. Digital outreach enabled researchers to approach a large, geographically diverse population of at-risk individuals and include people who otherwise may have no access to participation in clinical trials because they don’t live close to a research center.

The participants were asked to wear an iRhythm Zio XT®, an FDA-approved, single-use, water-resistant, 14-day ambulatory ECG monitoring skin patch. The patch monitors and retains information about a person’s continuous heartbeat for up to two weeks. After wearing the patch for two weeks, participants mailed the patches back, with the reports analyzed by the The Scripps Research Institute team.

A total of 1,738 people participated and wore a patch to be actively monitored; 3,476 others served as matched controls.

Over a year of follow-up, researchers discovered 109 new cases of atrial fibrillation. The findings suggest that spot checking for atrial fibrillation – through random pulse checks for irregularity or obtaining a brief electrocardiogram – would miss the vast majority of individuals with undiagnosed atrial fibrillation.

“Because strokes occur so frequently and are often fatal, it is reasonable to believe that you are changing the course of the disease for those diagnosed, or even saving lives,” Crocker said of the trial’s findings.

The digital technology used in the clinical trial allowed the research to be more inclusive and focused on participants. By utilizing a combination of Aetna’s claims data to identify individuals at risk of irregular heartbeat, a website and proactive emails to potential participants and the ECG skin patch, the researchers were able to approach at-risk individuals at a much larger scale.

“Pre-qualifying participants who might be at risk for a condition like atrial fibrillation — vs. casting a wide net across the general population and hoping for the best — is absolutely the best way to enable research in a real-world setting,” Crocker said.

Steven Steinhubl, M.D., director of digital medicine at the Scripps Translational Science Institute, agreed that the study pushes the boundaries of clinical research.

“We hope that this study will move the modern clinical research field forward, as an early indicator of what is possible via real-world, participant-centric clinical trials enabled through digital medicine technologies,” Steinhubl said.

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