January 21, 2015 – Group Effort


Anchor lead:  When people are educated to reduce risk factors for heart disease, the payoffs are big, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Take one low resource county in rural Maine with lots of at risk residents for heart disease, add a comprehensive program to impact on three risk factors, and what do you get?  Arielle Medford, a medical student at Johns Hopkins and one author of an upcoming book on an educational approach to reduce heart disease, says the outcome is a big deal.

Medford: It’s big deal for a lot of reasons, one is it’s a low income community.  A lot of patients are just labeled as noncompliant, but I think a big issue is they’re identifying groups that are at risk and showing that if you take action and have an integrated program to improve compliance then patients are actually showing changes.  The authors cite over a 12 year period almost 5 and a half million dollars in savings due to reduced hospitalizations, and I suspect that the cost to implement the program would be way overshadowed by the savings in reduced hospitalizations.  :33

Medford would welcome deployment of such a strategy nationally, as heart disease remains the number one cause of death.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.