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Eliminating Disparities in Cardiovascular Health Six Strategic Imperatives and a Framework for Action

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Circulation (Impact Factor: 14.95). 04/2005; 111(10):1332-6. DOI: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000158134.24860.91
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Disparities in cardiovascular health are among the most serious public health problems in the United States today. Despite the remarkable declines in cardiovascular mortality observed nationally over the last 3 decades, many population subgroups defined by race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, educational level, or geography show striking, and often widening, disparities in cardiovascular health. The pervasive nature of these disparities and compelling evidence of the adverse impact they have on clinical outcomes and quality of life have been well documented. The elimination of these disparities is 1 of the 2 overarching goals of the Healthy People 2010 national public health agenda; however, few publications provide guidance on what actions to take. In this review, 6 strategic imperatives within a framework for action are presented. Other key elements of the framework include 10 focal areas and 6 major settings within which the framework calls for accelerated interventions to eliminate disparities in cardiovascular health. Success in this endeavor will require innovative and comprehensive interventions built on a foundation of sound clinical and public health science. Strategic partnerships with communities, community-based organizations, state and local governments, and public and private partners from both health and nonhealth sectors are essential. Additionally, investment in local-level disparities surveillance, community-based participatory research, and development of a diverse clinical and public health workforce will be invaluable.

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