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Each year, approximately 1.5 million U.S. adults have a heart attack or stroke, resulting in approximately 30 deaths every hour and, for nonfatal events, often leading to long-term disability (1).

Overall, an estimated 14 million survivors of heart attacks and strokes are living in the United States (1).

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with nonprofit and private organizations, launched Million Hearts ( External Web Site Icon), an initiative focused on implementing clinical and community-level evidence-based strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and prevent a total of 1 million heart attacks and strokes during the 5-year period 2012–2016 (2,3).

From 2005–2006 to the period with the most current data, analysis of the Million Hearts four “ABCS” clinical measures (for aspirin, blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking) showed 1) no statistically significant change in the prevalence of aspirin use for secondary prevention (53.8% in 2009–2010), 2) an increase to 51.9% in the prevalence of blood pressure control (in 2011–2012), 3) an increase to 42.8% in the prevalence of cholesterol management (in 2011–2012), and 4) no statistically significant change in the prevalence of smoking assessment and treatment (22.2% in 2009–2010).

In addition, analysis of two community-level indicators found 1) a decrease in current tobacco product smoking (including cigarette, cigar, or pipe use) prevalence to 25.1% in 2011–2012 and 2) minimal change in mean daily sodium intake (3,594 mg/day in 2009–2010).

Although trends in some measures are encouraging, further reductions of CVD risk factors will be needed to meet Million Hearts goals by 2017.

[CDC MMWR Weekly, May 30, 2014 / 63(21);462-467; Matthew D. Ritchey, DPT1, Hilary K. Wall, MPH1, Cathleen Gillespie, MS1, Mary G. George, MD1, Ahmed Jamal, MBBS2; ]