Heart disease and stroke are an epidemic in the United States today. Many of the people who are at high risk for heart attack or stroke don’t know it. The good news is that many of the major risks for these conditions can be prevented and controlled through healthy lifestyle changes.

Key Barriers

Many people with risks for heart disease and stroke—such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol—do not know that they have these conditions or how to effectively control them to prevent a heart attack or stroke. Other barriers include the following:

  • Access to convenient, consistent, and affordable monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Inadequate time with health care professionals to ask important questions and receive personalized advice.
  • Medication expense, side effects, and habits about daily use.
  • Lack of continuity of clinical care across varied providers and systems.
  • Need for community-based strategies for healthier lifestyle choices, such as reduced sodium in meals and smoke-free air policies.

More Information

Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

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Page last reviewed: February 26, 2021