Evidence and Resources to Improve Overall Heart Health
The AHRQ EvidenceNOW initiative focused on improving the "ABCS" of cardiovascular care—Aspirin for those at increased risk of a heart attack or stroke, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. Although there are dozens of resources helpful to both clinicians and patients for education about and implementing interventions relevant to each specific ABCS domain, there are other PCOR evidence-based materials that address more than just one of the ABCS to improve overall heart health.
EvidenceNOW used a wide variety of materials to increase the delivery of the ABCS in primary care and promote improvements in overall heart health. These materials include general information about cardiovascular risk reduction, guidance on improving diet and physical activity, direction on implementing risk calculators that can be used by practices and patients, practical advice on overcoming barriers to improve heart health, patient education and engagement materials, and much more.
Resources for Improving Overall Heart Health
Guidelines and Recommendations
This is a summary of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation on lifestyle counseling for adults at high risk for CVD.
This series of fact sheets summarizes recommendations for the ABCS of heart health: Aspirin therapy for secondary prevention of heart disease, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation in adults. These guidelines formed the basis for the EvidenceNOW Initiative.
Resources for Practices
Based on the 2017 update to the ACC/AHA 2013 Cardiovascular Risk Calculator/Guideline on the Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk, this web-based calculator allows clinicians or their patients to plug in weight, age, and other information to calculate the risk of heart disease.
This comprehensive evidence report is from the Risk Assessment Work Group convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to conduct a systematic evidence review and develop an approach to quantitative risk assessment to guide care.
This presentation discusses ways providers can integrate calculation and discussion of ASCVD risk score into patient visits.
Practice staff can fill out this one-page checklist before a patient visit to highlight essential information about that patient’s ABCS status and flag upcoming care needs in the electronic health record.
This section (pages 112–141) of the ABCS Toolkit for the Practice Facilitator contains checklists to help practices track quality measures for heart health and other important screenings.
These slides and script from a 12-minute video address secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, including a review of issues in medical therapy (lipid lowering therapy, antiplatelet agents, and blood pressure control) and lifestyle interventions for patients with a history of CVD.
These slides and script are from a 10-minute video that covers medication adherence to improve heart health, including the rationale for addressing adherence, as well as when and how to address it with patients.
These slides and script are from a 13-minute video that covers risk calculation for cardiovascular disease and how to use a risk-based approach with patients to prevent and treat CVD.
This three-page, facts-at-a-glance handout for clinicians explains how to use and discuss the cardiac risk calculator with patients as well as guidelines for statin intensity levels.
This one-page handout for clinicians compares the number needed to treat with statins compared with other primary care interventions, such as nicotine replacement for smokers and lung cancer screening.
This one-page workflow chart and decision aid helps practice staff collect and track data for cardiovascular risk assessment.
This 7-minute online video explains how to integrate the cardiovascular risk estimator into office visits to engage patients in improving their heart health.
These slides are from a webinar about the ABCS measures and how they can be used to engage patients in patient-centered communication and shared decisionmaking about heart disease prevention.
This two-page chart contains CMS measure numbers, National Quality Foundation measure numbers, measure titles and other information.
This comprehensive evidence report is from the Lifestyle Work Group convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to conduct a systematic evidence review of the role of dietary patterns, nutrient intake, and physical activity in CVD risk.
This comprehensive evidence report is from the Obesity Expert Panel convened by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to conduct a systematic evidence review and develop clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults.
This worksheet for practice facilitators describes how to work with practices to break down four key messages about lowering cardiovascular disease risk.
Resources for Practices to Use With Patients
This fact sheet for patients explains the recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on lifestyle counseling for adults at high risk for CVD.
These index card-sized cards offer a menu of “recipes for health” that clinicians can use to talk to patients about health goals and make recommendations to encourage heart health.
This illustrated brochure explains how plaque buildup can silently lead to heart disease and suggests questions patients can ask and actions they can take to understand and reduce their risk of heart disease.
This checklist is designed to be used in conjunction with the One Heart brochure to help patients focus their office visit on addressing risk factors for heart disease.
Modeled after folding road maps, this trifold brochure reviews how the ABCS of heart care can help prevent heart disease.
This poster uses the imagery of a car dashboard to make the point that patients can drive heart health and reduce their risk of heart disease.
This one-page handout for patients explains the Mediterranean style of eating that emphasizes vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, with fish twice a week and smaller portions of meat.