Heart disease is a prevalent population health issue for many parts of our nation and is affected by all five of the population health determinants.  One of these determinants is access to healthcare which included prevention strategies, treatments, and management of disease (Kindig, Asada, & Booske, 2008).  Medical management of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and Diabetes would decrease the risk of heart disease (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014c).  The individual behavior determinant is behaviors within a person’s control such as diet, exercise, and smoking habits (Kindig et al., 2008).  All three of these habits can affect heart health (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014c).  The social environment determinant includes socioeconomic factors (Kindig et al., 2008).  Access to education is imperative for heart health, not only for knowledge of healthy habits but also the need to make a livable wage as described by Laureate Education (2012).  A livable wage is necessary for affordable health care and affordable healthy foods (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014c).  The physical environment determinant affects the heart health of those exposed to long-term poor air quality (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014b).  Lastly, the genetics determinant effects heart health.  Genetics are inherited characteristics such as race and family history (Kindig et al., 2008). HealthyPeople.gov (2014c) identified African Americans at highest risk for heart disease.  Also, those with a family history of heart disease are at high risk themselves (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014c).  When assessing the data, each of the five determinants affects heart disease.

Impactful Determinants

When assessing the population health determinants, a couple of them are significantly impactful.  The one most impactful is individual behavior, as making lifestyle changes can dramatically decrease the risk of heart disease.  In America, nearly 82 percent of adults and adolescents do not get enough exercise, and about 34 percent of adults and 16 percent of adolescents are obese (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014d).  Between 2000 and 2004 smoking was attributed to ischemic heart disease leading to 126,005 deaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008).  Making choices of healthy behaviors such as exercise, diet, and not smoking would reduce the risk of heart disease.

Another impactful determinant is access to health care.  Managing diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia can reduce the risk of damage done to the heart and increase years of quality life. Objectives by HealthyPeople.gov (2014c) include increased screening for those who have cardiac risk factors.  Screening can help early diagnoses and treatments leading to better management of cardiac risk factors.

Epidemiologic Data

Epidemiologic data support the significance of heart disease by assessing the statistics of death related to heart disease.  For example, in 1999, heart disease accounted for about 195 deaths per 100,000 according to HealthyPeople.gov (2014a).  However, in 2016, about 94 deaths per 100,000 were cardiac-related showing a decreased trend (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014a).  Because of epidemiologic data, objectives such as increasing the number of adults who get their blood pressures measured, decreasing hypertension in adults, and increasing aspirin intervention in adults with cardiac risk factors, could lead to policy initiatives (HealthyPeople.gov, 2014c).  Epidemiologic data represented a significant issue, led to objectives and policies, and then, allowed for evaluation of the objectives and policies (Laureate Education, 2012).

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Smoking-attributable mortality, years of potential life lost, and productivity losses — united states, 2000-2004. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5745a3.htm

HealthyPeople.gov. (2014a). Coronary heart disease deaths (age adjusted, per 100,000 population). Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/data/Chart/4582?category=1&by=Total&fips=-1

HealthyPeople.gov. (2014b). Environmental quality. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators2020/-lhi-topics/environmental-quality

HealthyPeople.gov. (2014c). Heart disease and stroke. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-/-Objectives/topics/heart-disease-and-stroke

HealthyPeople.gov. (2014d). Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Nutrition-Physical-Activity-and-Obesity

Kindig, D., Asada, Y., & Booske, B. (2008). A population health framework for setting national and state health goals. JAMA, 299(17), 2081–2083.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012). Population health. Baltimore, MD: Author.

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