Wicked Problems and Worthy Pursuits: Resolving to Meet AHA 2020 Impact Goals
About 83 million American adults (about 1/3 of the adult population) have one or more types of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD is the underlying cause for ~33% of American deaths (2008 data).1 Put in stark terms, CVD claims one American life every 39 seconds and is responsible for more deaths annually than cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and accidents combined.2 In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA), the leading health organization devoted to CVDs and stroke, set an ambitious goal to reduce the mortality rates of CHD and stroke risk by 25% by the year 2010, using 1999 rates as the baseline. This goal stimulated the AHA to boldly pursue prevention, treatment, and acute-care goals through implementation of policy initiatives, scientific discovery and communication, and other strategic resources. The impact of AHA's 2010 mortality goals was dramatic: during the first decade of this century, death rates due to CHD and stroke fell by about 30%.3 An optimistic reading of these data on the whole points to an obvious conclusion: although much work remains to be done, the assiduous efforts of public health advocates, researchers, and clinicians can dramatically reduce Americans' cardiovascular mortality. (SELECT FULL TEXT TO CONTINUE)
- Received April 18, 2012.
- Accepted April 23, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited