Million Hearts® Makes a Significant National Impact

Million Hearts® continues to make progress and remains dedicated to the prevention of 1 million heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular events by collaborating with clinical, public health, and community-based partners.

Million Hearts® Saves Lives and Money

Million Hearts® works with public- and private-sector partners to focus on advancing a set of strategies selected for their proven impact on preventing cardiovascular events. Learn more about Million Hearts.

In its first 5-year cycle (2012–2016), Million Hearts®:
Prevented and saved

Prevented an estimated 135,000 heart attacks, strokes, and related acute cardiovascular events.1*

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Saved $5.6 billion in direct medical costs, a substantial portion of which was saved by public insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.1

*Deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits due to heart attack, stroke, and other preventable cardiovascular events.

Partner Engagement Is Vital to Million Hearts® Success

Million Hearts® leverages a national network of more than 300 private partner organizations, all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 20 federal agencies to advance Million Hearts® priorities.

Collectively, Million Hearts® has engaged in the following activities:

  • Translated the science of self-measured blood pressure monitoring (SMBP) into practice with the development of actionable resources.
  • Convened a forum of more than 400 clinical, public health, and community-based partner members to facilitate the exchange of ideas, tools, and solutions to optimize SMBP use nationwide.
  • Organized and led the Cardiac Rehabilitation Collaborative, a body of 400 multidisciplinary health professionals taking action to increase cardiac rehabilitation participation.
  • Recognized 118 Hypertension Control Champions, serving 15 million adults across 37 states, for achieving at least 70% blood pressure control among patients served.2
  • Supported the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) to address undiagnosed hypertension, underutilization of cholesterol-lowering medications for those at high risk and improve blood pressure control for African Americans with diagnosed hypertension.

Through these combined initiatives, participating health centers identified over 27,000 people with elevated blood pressures but no previous diagnosis of hypertension and within 8 months (including during the pandemic), over 3,000 of these patients were recalled, diagnosed with hypertension, and had their blood pressure attended to.

Through the cholesterol project we have discovered systems, patient, and data drivers of statin underuse. Initial implementation resulted in 2,260 new prescriptions in 12 months (including during the pandemic).

And finally, over 20,000 African Americans with uncontrolled hypertension were identified and experienced a 10-mmHg reduction in their average systolic blood pressure, which translated into hundreds of events prevented.

Collectively, 32 health centers engaged in these efforts, serving an adult population of more than 570,000 people. These health centers belong to health center–controlled networks that plan to spread these interventions to 242 additional health centers with over 3,500,000 additional adults.

Million Hearts® Can Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes

Heart attacks and strokes are common, with someone in the United States suffering an event every 20 seconds.

Million Hearts® focuses on advancing a set of priorities selected for their impact on preventing heart disease, stroke, and related conditions. Learn more about Million Hearts® priorities and targets.

Current Million Hearts® work includes the following:

Million Hearts® Change Packages and Action Guides identify partners and approaches to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes. Widespread implementation of the second edition of the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Change Package, released in June 2020, is critical to reaching the 2027 targets.

SMBP with Clinical Support can improve blood pressure control. Despite the inclusion of SMBP in clinical guidelines, adoption and implementation remain suboptimal. Million Hearts® is working with partners to improve access to home blood pressure monitors and support primary care teams to implement SMBP with clinical support.

The Million Hearts® Hospitals & Health Systems Recognition Program was launched in February 2020 to engage and acknowledge health care institutions working to systematically improve the cardiovascular health of their populations. The program application outlines key strategies that hospitals and health systems can implement to drive quality-of-care improvements within their communities, complementing efforts to help local and state health departments implement strategies from the Million Hearts® in Municipalities Toolkit.

Participation in Home-Based or Hybrid Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs reduces the risk of death, decreases hospital readmissions, and improves patient functional status and quality of life. Alternative models for cardiac rehabilitation delivery are critically needed to help patients who cannot otherwise attend a center-based program to benefit from this evidence-based comprehensive approach to cardiovascular prevention. Million Hearts® is working with experts to catalyze development of new care delivery models at the home or community level.

Now Is the Time

COVID-19 has affected all American lives. The unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted significant gaps and vulnerabilities in our nation’s health.

Improving the cardiovascular health of our nation has never been more important. There is an increased urgency to do better. We, as a nation, can prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes within 5 years. Million Hearts® remains dedicated to this mission.

Learn More

Page last reviewed: October 26, 2020