Ohio Releases Stroke and Heart Disease Plan

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the American Heart Association (AHA), November 9, released a statewide plan to reduce the rates of heart disease and stroke in Ohio.

The document is the result of efforts by the Ohio Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Council to develop a comprehensive strategy.  Albert M. Saolomon, DO,is a member of the Council, representing  the Ohio Osteopathic Association. 

"The Ohio Plan provides a roadmap to strengthen aspects of Ohio's heart disease and stroke systems of care -- from public awareness to treatment regimens to rehabilitation," said Dr. Irene Katzan, lead physician with the Ohio Paul Coverdell Stroke Registry. “The ultimate goal is to create a coordinated and integrated statewide system to better fight the prevalence of heart disease and stroke."

Ohio statistics show heart disease was the leading cause of death in Ohio during 2006, accounting for 26 percent of all deaths, while stroke placed fourth.  Heart disease also resulted in more than 190,000 hospitalizations in 2003 at a cost of $4.8 billion.  More than 75 percent of Ohio adults have at least one modifiable risk factor for heart disease, inluding high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol or low fruit and vegetable consumption. 

The Ohio plan stresses the importance of controlling risk factors to reduce the risk for heart disease. In addition to prevention, the report also notes only 33 percent of Ohioans are able to recognize all symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of calling 911. It calls on specific partners to do the following:

Hospitals: Collaborate to sponsor community blood pressure and cholesterol screening events. Promote training for care staff on current clinical practice guidelines for heart disease and stroke treatment and management and cultural competency. Conduct community education events to increase awareness of risk factors for heart disease and stroke and increase knowledge of signs and symptoms and the need to call 9-1-1 quickly.

Employers: Implement worksite policies and environmental supports for heart disease and stroke prevention including 100 percent tobacco-free campuses, healthy food options and increased opportunity for physical activity. Partner with hospitals to host blood pressure and cholesterol screening events. Assess benefit plans and determine if adequate coverage is provided for primary and secondary heart disease and stroke services.

Schools: Raise awareness of signs and symptoms of stroke and heart attack and the need to call 9-1-1. Encourage cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for staff and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) implementation within schools with established need. Implement worksite policies and environmental supports for heart disease and stroke prevention including 100 percent tobacco- free campuses, healthy food options and physical activity.

Health Care Providers: Provide heart disease and stroke awareness information to patients. Promote blood pressure and cholesterol screening, management and follow-up among patients. Treat and manage patients’ conditions to current clinical guidelines for heart disease and stroke.

EMS Providers: Become familiar with the signs and symptoms of stroke and heart attack. Support policy development of statewide, standardized EMS treatment protocols that are consistent with established clinical guidelines for heart attack and stroke.

Community: Become familiar with signs and symptoms of stroke and heart attack and the need to call 9-1-1 quickly. Support the implementation of enhanced 9-1-1 systems.

To see acopy of the report, click here: Ohio Heart and Stroke Plan.

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