Focusing on Health Equity

Heart disease, stroke, and their modifiable risk factors are experienced disproportionately throughout the U.S. population based on race/ethnicity, social determinants of health, and geography. Structural racism, discriminatory economic policies, and other systemic factors have contributed to these disparities by increasing financial stress, creating distrust of the medical system, curtailing access to quality health care, and segregating populations into unsafe and unhealthy neighborhoods. These stressors limit certain populations’ chance to be healthy, for example, by limiting their ability to:

  • Pay for medications, home blood pressure devices, or preventive services like cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Get help for nicotine dependence.
  • Exercise safely.
  • Breath smoke- and particle pollution-free air.

Million Hearts® 2027 aims to advance health equity through specific policies, processes, and practices that provide fair access to resources and opportunities that enable cardiovascular health for all, with a deliberate emphasis on several populations:

Pregnant and Postpartum Women with Hypertension
People from Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups
People with Behavioral Health Issues Who Use Tobacco

People with Lower Incomes

People Who Live in Rural Areas or Other 'Access Deserts'
Reducing disparities in cardiovascular health.
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Tools and Resources

Page last reviewed: May 5, 2022