News and Updates for Healthcare Professionals

Even a Few Days of Steroids May Be Risky

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Individually tailored falls prevention plan found no better than usual care for reducing serious injury

Large PCORI-, NIH-funded trial examined multipronged intervention in real-world settings.

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Cardiovascular Health and Prevention Remain Priorities During a Pandemic

Improving cardiovascular health remains a priority even during a pandemic.

Million Hearts® understands that hospitals and health systems are challenged, working hard, and adjusting to meet the needs of their patients, employees, and communities during the pandemic. Focusing on cardiovascular health has never been more important. The Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program recognizes institutions working systematically to improve the cardiovascular health of their communities through focus on Million Hearts® priority areas:

  1. Keeping People Healthy
  2. Optimizing Care
  3. Improving Outcomes for Priority Populations
  4. Innovating for Health

The application for recognition remains open to multihospital health systems, hospitals with and without ambulatory care, medical practices unaffiliated with hospitals, community health centers, and any clinical entity whose leaders consider it eligible. Even if an institution chooses not to apply, the application form itself offers a plethora of proven strategies for improving the cardiovascular health of patients and communities.

 Apply now; our next review deadline in July 30, 2020. Achieve a Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems designation to showcase your institution's commitment to both clinical quality and overall cardiovascular health.

My heart is with you in support. 
Laurence Sperling, MD, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FASPC

Executive Director, Million Hearts®

Final Recommendation Statement: Screening for Unhealthy Drug Use

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released today a final recommendation statement on screening for unhealthy drug use. That Task Force found that clinicians should ask adults about their drug use and connect people who have a problem to care. More research is needed to make a recommendation for teens. To view the recommendation, the evidence on which it is based, and a summary for clinicians, please go here. The final recommendation statement can also be found in the June 9, 2020 online issue of JAMA.

Study identifies potential approach to treat severe respiratory distress in patients with COVID-19

These findings should not be considered clinical advice but are being shared to assist the public health response to COVID-19

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Data Briefs

State of Aging and Health in America: Data Brief Series are topic-specific documents focusing on public health issues related to older adults. These briefs provide public health professionals with the most recent data available on health and aging related conditions, including the importance of brain health, the management of chronic conditions, and caregiving burdens, to help identify needs and mitigate the future effects of a growing older population.

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NIH releases strategic plan to accelerate nutrition research over next 10 years

What if each of us had individualized dietary recommendations that helped us decide what, when, why, and how to eat to optimize our health and quality of life? This precision nutrition approach — developing targeted and effective diet interventions in a diverse population — is among the ambitious goals set out by the 2020-2030 Strategic Plan for National Institutes of Health Nutrition Research.

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COVID-19 Guidance for Older Adults

Older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness. COVID-19 is a new disease and we are learning more about it every day. Information is available in multiple languages.

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Comprehensive Guide on Hypertension

Introducing the Comprehensive Guide on Hypertension, the most-up-to-date hypertension management compendium developed by the world-renowned leaders in hypertension!

Hypertension is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, heart failure and is a major cause of end stage renal disease. Educating health care professionals about hypertension helps assure a strong team in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension.

This comprehensive curriculum focuses on all aspects of the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hypertension.  It offers newer science around secondary hypertension, resistant hypertension and treatment special conditions reinforces the ability to better treat patients.

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Are You Aware? Quick Facts About Kidney Disease

Fewer Than a Third of Patients With High Blood Pressure Are Tested for Urine Albumin in Clinical Practice

In the United States, nearly half (45%) of adults have high blood pressure, or hypertension,1 a principal or contributing cause of death for more than 472,000 people in 2017.2 Hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are closely linked. Hypertension is not only among the most important risk factors for CKD but is almost always present in people with CKD, occuring in 85% to 95% of those with advanced CKD (stages 3–5).3

Albuminuria, or protein in the urine, is associated with duration and severity of hypertension and is a risk factor for CKD and CKD progression, cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and stroke, and early death.4 Despite guidelines to screen for albuminuria in all patients with hypertension,5,6 urine albumin testing is not frequently done in clinical practice. In the Veterans Health Administration system, although the percentage of patients with urine albumin results was higher with increasing age, less than one-third of patients with hypertension were tested for albuminuria in 2018 (figure).

Laboratory tests for albuminuria are reliable, simple, and relatively inexpensive. Testing is an important step to identifying CKD and evaluating risk for cardiovascular disease and kidney disease progression. This is especially needed among patients with hypertension.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hypertension Cascade: Hypertension Prevalence, Treatment and Control Estimates Among US Adults Aged 18 Years and Older Applying the Criteria From the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association’s 2017 Hypertension Guideline—NHANES 2013–2016. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2019.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death, 1999–2017. CDC WONDER Online Database. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2018. Accessed January 7, 2019.
  3. Rao MV, Qiu Y, Wang C, Bakris G. Hypertension and CKD: Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999–2004. Am J Kidney Dis. 2008;51(4 suppl 2):S30–S37.
  4. Matsushita K, Ballew SH, Astor BC, et al. Cohort profile: the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium. Int J Epidemiol. 2013;42(6):1660–1668.
  5. Krammer HJ, Townsend RR, Griffin K, et al. KDOQI US Commentary on the 2017 ACC/AHA Hypertension Guideline. Am J Kidney Dis. 2019;73(4):437–458.
  6. Mancia G, De Backer G, Dominiczak A, et al. 2007 Guidelines for the Management of Arterial Hypertension: the Task Force for the Management of Arterial Hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). J Hypertens. 2007;25(6):1105–1187.