The Alaska Department of Health began receiving funds from CDC in 2002 to support a state heart disease and stroke prevention program.
Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke
- Nearly 1 out of 5 deaths in Alaska are due to heart disease. (National Vital Statistics Report, 2009.)
- 645 Alaskans died from heart disease in 2006 (19.2% of total deaths in Alaska). (National Vital Statistics Report, 2009.)
- 177 Alaskans died from stroke in 2006 (5.3% of total deaths in Alaska). (National Vital Statistics Report, 2009.)
See the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services report, The Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke in Alaska July 2006 Update [PDF–2.7M], and the Northwest Regional Stroke Network report, Burden of Stroke in the Pacific Northwest—August 2008 [PDF–692K], for more burden statistics.
- According to 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey results, adults in Alaska reported the following risk factors for heart disease and stroke:
- 24.9% had high blood pressure
- 37.6% of those screened reported having high blood cholesterol
- 6.1% had diabetes
- 22.2% were current smokers
- 65.1% were overweight or obese (Body Mass Index greater than or equal to 25.0)
- 39.2% reported no exercise in the prior 30 days
- 75.8% ate fruit and vegetables less than 5 times a day
|Risk Factor||Alaska||Nationwide (States and D.C.)|
|Eat fruits and vegetables less than 5 times/day||75.8||75.6|
|Overweight or obese||65.1||62.9|
|No moderate or vigorous physical activity||39.2||50.5|
|High total blood cholesterol||37.6||37.6|
|High blood pressure||24.9||27.8|
- Facilitate collaboration among public and private sector partners, such as managed care organizations, health insurers, federally funded health centers, businesses, priority population organizations, and emergency response agencies.
- Define the burden of heart disease and stroke and assess existing population-based strategies for primary and secondary prevention of heart disease and stroke within the state.
- Develop and update a comprehensive state plan for heart disease and stroke prevention with emphasis on heart-healthy policies development, physical and social environments change, and disparities elimination (e.g., based on geography, gender, race or ethnicity, or socioeconomic status).
- Identify culturally appropriate approaches to promote heart disease and stroke prevention among racial, ethnic, and other priority populations.
- Use population-based public health strategies to increase public awareness of the Heart Disease and Stroke urgency, the signs and symptoms of heart disease and stroke, and the need to call 9-1-1.
- The Alaska Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (HDSP) program coordinates the state-level Take Heart Alaska (THA) coalition. The purpose of the coalition is to increase heart health among all Alaskans through advocacy for individual, work site, and community-based commitment to healthy lifestyles and improving access to preventive services. The coalition has about 45 active organizations involved in the subcommittees, that are involved in healthy lifestyles, public education, professional education, and treatment and prevention.
- The HDSP program plans to assess and increase provider adherence to nationally recognized guidelines for managing high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- The THA subcommittees are active in many communities. They are working on projects involving stroke prevention and treatment, increasing physical activity, promoting better eating habits, improving work site wellness, and public education. In September 2009, the coalition had a 10-year anniversary meeting for members to celebrate and strengthen their partnerships. The THA Web site is now fully functional and continues to be updated, with new capabilities planned. The THA e-newsletter, Matters of the Heart, is published quarterly and has been expanded to include additional educational and coalition news items.
- The THA coalition and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health developed The Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke in Alaska: Mortality, Morbidity, and Risk Factors. The report contains cardiovascular mortality and risk factor data and guides the coalition’s planning efforts. The report was disseminated to key stakeholders throughout the state.
- The second edition of the Alaska Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Plan was a joint project between the THA coalition and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health. The plan includes strategies for addressing major cardiovascular risk factors and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. This plan provides a clear understanding of how geographical, weather, and travel barriers impact program goals and strategies. The third edition of the plan will be published in 2012.
- The Stroke Systems of Care Subcommittee of the THA coalition’s Treatment and Prevention Committee has successfully completed collaborative stroke order sets for emergent care, supported the 2009 launch of a “hub and spoke” statewide stroke telemedicine pilot project, and initiated public education for an Alaskan-focused F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech, Time) campaign to help people recognize and act quickly on the early warning signs of stroke.
For more information, visit the heart disease and stroke prevention program in Alaska.
To view county-level data, visit our interactive map site.