Abstract / Description: 

Introduction: Despite its preventability, cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and health care costs in the United States. This study describes the burden, in 2016, of nonfatal and fatal cardiovascular events targeted for prevention by Million Hearts 2022, a national initiative working to prevent one million cardiovascular events during 2017ñ2021.

Methods: Emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations were identified using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project databases, and deaths were identified using National Vital Statistics System data. Age-standardized Million Heartsñpreventable event rates and hospitalization costs among adults aged ?18 years in 2016 are described nationally and across states, as data permit. Expected 2017ñ2021 event totals and hospitalization costs were estimated assuming 2016 values remain unchanged.

Results: Nationally, in 2016, 2.2 million hospitalizations (850.9 per 100,000 population) resulting in $32.7 billion in costs, and 415,480 deaths (157.4 per 100,000) occurred. Hospitalization and mortality rates were highest among men (989.6 and 172.3 per 100,000, respectively) and non-Hispanic blacks (211.6 per 100,000, mortality only) and increased with age. However, 805,000 hospitalizations and 75,245 deaths occurred among adults aged 18ñ64 years. State-level variation occurred in rates of ED visits (from 56.4 [Connecticut] to 274.8 per 100,000 [Kentucky]), hospitalizations (484.0 [Wyoming] to 1670.3 per 100,000 [DC]), and mortality (111.2 [Vermont] to 267.3 per 100,000 [Mississippi]). Approximately 16.3 million events and $173.7 billion in hospitalization costs could occur during 2017ñ2021 without preventive intervention.

Conclusions and Implications for Public Health Practice: Million Heartsñpreventable events place a considerable health and economic burden on the United States. With coordinated efforts, many of these events could be prevented in every state to achieve the initiativeís goal.

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Matthew D. Ritchey, DPT1; Hilary K. Wall, MPH1; Pamela L. Owens, PhD2; Janet S. Wright, MD1