The Alabama Department of Public Health began receiving funds from CDC in 1998 to support a state heart disease and stroke prevention program.
Burden of Heart Disease and Stroke
- More than 1 out of 4 deaths in Alabama are due to heart disease. (National Vital Statistics Report, 2009.)
- 12,583 Alabamans died from heart disease in 2006 (26.8% of total deaths in Alabama). (National Vital Statistics Report, 2009.)
- 2,740 Alabamans died from stroke in 2006 (5.8% of total deaths in Alabama). (National Vital Statistics Report, 2009.)
See the Alabama Department of Health's 2001 Alabama State of the Heart Report [PDF–338K] for more burden statistics.
- According to 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey results, adults in Alabama reported the following risk factors for heart disease and stroke:
- 33.1% had high blood pressure
- 39.4% of those screened reported having high blood cholesterol
- 10.3% had diabetes
- 22.5% were current smokers
- 66.6% were overweight or obese (Body Mass Index greater than or equal to 25.0)
- 58.3% reported no exercise in the prior 30 days
- 79.4% ate fruit and vegetables less than 5 times per day
|Risk Factor||Alabama||Nationwide (States and D.C.)|
|Eat fruits and vegetables less than 5 times/day||79.4||75.6|
|Overweight or obese||66.6||62.9|
|No moderate or vigorous physical activity||58.3||50.5|
|High total blood cholesterol||39.4||37.6|
|High blood pressure||33.1||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, 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 diseases and stroke, and the need to call 9–1–1.
- The Alabama Cardiovascular Health Program (CVHP) will provide training to state partners on the importance of the ABCs for heart disease. This program will highlight information regarding sodium consumption, hypertension control, and their importance for African Americans. CVHP is committed to this “winnable battle.”
- The CVHP collaborates with the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to assess the training needs of EMS personnel and improve the emergency response to cardiovascular incidents. A county-level map of 911 coverage (basic, enhanced, or no coverage) has been developed for the state. The state Medical Control Committee and the state Committee of Public Health has updated EMS stroke protocols.
- The CVHP received a $35,000 grant from the Delta States Stroke Consortium, to begin a telemedicine program for Alabama. In result, CVHP wrote a grant announcement inviting certified primary stroke centers to become a “hub” of a “hub and spoke” stroke system of care.
- The CVHP is partnering with the Primary Health Care Association to work with the federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in assessing their understanding and use of the Joint Commission guidelines. CVHP will provide training to the FQHCs providers in the use of the guidelines. In addition, CVHP and the association are collaborating on a pilot program that manages hypertension of patients in the black belt communities and FQHCs.
- The CVHP collaborates with the only hypertension clinic still functioning within the Alabama Department of Public Health, which is in the black belt’s Perry County. Through CVHP’s partnerships with Samford University School of Pharmacy and the nonprofit Sowing Seeds of Hope, this clinic receives educational materials, training, and assistance to maintain operation. The clinic averages 200 clients on a monthly basis.
- The CVHP collaborates with the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA) to support hospitals becoming accredited as primary stroke centers. The effort uses the Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) stroke quality improvement process.
- The CVHP program collaborates with the AHA, ASA, and historically black colleges/universities to train students as trainers for the AHA/ASA’s Power to End Stroke awareness campaign. This campaign targets African Americans to eliminate their increased risk of dying of stroke.
- The CVHP will provide training to state partners on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), also known in Alabama as the Living Well Alabama program. This program provides information and teaches individuals practical skills in self-management of chronic health problems using a community based “lay leader” approach. Partnerships including working with parish nurses, cooperative extension agents, Alabama Department of Public Health social worker case managers, and the Alabama Department of Senior Services all help implement the program in their respective communities. The CVHP has also built capacity to provide the CDSMP in Spanish.
For more information visit the Alabama Department of Health Cardiovascular Health Branch.
To view county-level data, visit our interactive map site.