The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) is pleased to announce its initiative, Aspirin Talks: Start a Life-Saving Conversation. Its goal is to improve appropriate aspirin use to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Bayer has provided support for this effort.

Why aspirin? Because 45,000 lives could be saved every year if 90% of appropriate candidates took one low dose aspirin every day. The Partnership for Prevention ranked counseling about aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular events #1 among clinical preventive service priorities. The United States Preventive Services Task Force gave this intervention an A rating – its strongest recommendation.

Despite this, only about 1 in 3 high-risk patients are actually taking aspirin. While it is inexpensive, widely available and easy to take, many patients do not understand its relevance to them.

Change does not have to be that hard. In fact, an ACPM study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine determined that the factor most strongly associated with appropriate aspirin use is a conversation about aspirin between a patient and his/her healthcare professional. Furthermore, the American Medical Association recently passed policy to increase education among physicians on the importance of appropriate aspirin counseling.

ACPM has made progress with this initiative by …

  • Appointing an advisory panel of experts.

  • Drafting an evidence summary on systemic interventions designed to change patient and provider behavior. It includes validated behavior change models such as the Chronic Care Model and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Put Prevention into Practice initiative. This summary has been published in the September/October 2010 issue of American Journal of Medical Quality.

  • Developing an office-level intervention designed to help clinicians engage in a conversation about aspirin that can change the lives of their patients. It features a tool kit with physician, patient, and clinic aids to facilitate aspirin therapy counseling. In the coming months tool kit elements will be available on this site for comment.

  • Designing a pilot clinical trial to test the intervention in a real-world clinic setting.

  • Issuing a press release commending the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for its recommendations on aspirin use for primary prevention of heart attack and stroke.


Click these links for more information on heart health:

Smoking

Cholesterol

High Blood Pressure

Exercise

Diet

Heart Risk Calculator

Stroke Risk Calculator

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