Goal of 'cardiovascular health for all' will require better surveillance

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By Reuters Staff

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Improvements in cardiovascular health and disease surveillance are needed to achieve the American Heart Association (AHA) goal of equitably increasing healthy life expectancy by 2030, according to a new policy statement.

To support its objective of achieving "cardiovascular health for all," the AHA "will strive to equitably increase healthy life expectancy beyond current projections, with global and local collaborators, from 66 years of age to at least 68 years of age across the United States and from 64 years of age to at least 67 years of age worldwide," according to the AHA 2030 Impact Goal.

In order to achieve this goal, several improvements will be needed to create the cardiovascular health and cardiovascular disease surveillance system of the future.

Dr. Veronique L. Roger of Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues on the AHA Advocacy Coordinating Committee offer nine policy priorities that build on established principles and approaches. The priorities include and support recent recommendations from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) regarding transformation of public health surveillance for the United States.

The increasing number of cardiovascular deaths and low rates of cardiovascular health call for urgent interventions at all levels, supported by committed policymaking and sustainable funding, according to the new statement, published in Circulation with a presidential advisory addressing the 2030 Impact Goal.

Such interventions will require cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular health surveillance that uses robust existing data, as well as novel methods, to predict the clinical, public health, societal, and economic burden of poor cardiovascular health and to monitor the effectiveness of interventions.

The "Public Health Data Superhighway" initiative announced in 2019 by CSTE would transform the nation's public-health surveillance system through five key principles: an enterprise approach to data-systems modernization, interoperable data systems, security to protect data, a workforce prepared for the information age, and partnership and innovation with the public and private sectors.

This transformation could strongly support the surveillance requirements of cardiovascular-health promotion and cardiovascular-disease prevention, according to the authors.

Also critical to developing the surveillance system of the future will be interagency coordination to link surveillance to public-health practice and policy development; private-public collaboration to ensure sustainability of funding; careful attention to issues of privacy and HIPAA compliance; and effective communication of data to appropriate target audiences.

"Attention to the need for realistic approaches, the development of robust policies, and an unwavering commitment to collaboration among professional organizations and policy makers are critical to ultimately reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and improve cardiovascular health," the authors conclude. "Where we go from here, and how fast, depends on the level of urgency among stakeholders."

"The AHA has set a bold new target for extending healthy life by 2030; the response among professional organizations and policy makers should be equally courageous," they add.

Dr. Roger did not respond to a request for comments.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2tTiP0Y and https://bit.ly/3bDT9GG Circulation, online January 29, 2020.

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