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Public Health

Public Health

Experts are outraged over the fact that the U.S. Government does not track Heart Diseases. American Heart Association feels that since heart failure is the number one killer amongst men and women that it should concern the government since it does concern the public health. Our government should track national rates of heart disease and stroke to help cut the incidences of these prime causes of death.

Currently data is collected by different sources and then published once a year in the AHA annual Heart Disease and Stroke journal. The Public Health does not keep a record of heart diseases as they do for other illnesses. The doctors of today have to rely on information provided by different sources as journals and magazines. The Public Health is for everybody's concern and since the government controls this division, it is highly advisable that they start tracking patients with heart problems.

It is true that the American Heart Association has been doing a great job compiling this information from many and various sources. The fact is that there are many missing pieces, and it is not a good idea to have a nongovernmental agency, with no authority to modify data collected. The fact that the Public Health Department has no control over the facts or evaluation means that changes are slowly improved.

The Public Health Department has the capability of being a surveillance unit that can evaluate how data gets collected then make changes as needed. The Public Health Department can make sure that everyone in the medical field has access to all the information concerning the heart.

It is up to the Public Health Department to gather the needed information from the primary physicians, simply have the physicians report heart disease and stroke whenever possible. The information shared with doctors and patients would be much more obtainable. The public is under the false impression that the medical field is well informed about heart diseases. The truth about the situation is that there is no formal method of collecting data. That in reality without the efforts of the AHA doctors would not be as advanced as they are today concerning heart related problems. The current data collected by surveys needs some modification to help with increasing the physician's capability to treat heart patients.

- National surveys should expand existing questions on risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and other vascular diseases. Include in the survey risk factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking and obesity.

- The Public Health System should standardize data collection across existing surveys to eliminate duplication and make information easier to compare.

- Laboratory results on cholesterol levels and blood sugar control to information collected from physician visits needs to be compiled for the possibility of discovering any connections to heart problems. The Public Health Department duty should be to maintain these records for our own safety and well-being.

Let us note that heart health is of interest to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers advice on how to keep your heart healthy.


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