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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Heart Disease

Contact the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention

A Healthy Heart = A Healthy Life

Billions of dollars are spent every year in the U.S. on medications that reduce the risk of heart disease—the No.1 killer in Florida.

Heart disease accounts for 3 out of 10 deaths in Florida and in 2014 there were 42,835 heart attack hospitalizations, or an average of 117 heart attack hospitalizations each day. About half of all Americans have at least one of these three risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. By eliminating these risk factors and others we can take steps to reduce heart disease related deaths in Florida.


2017 Guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults 

As of November 13, 2017, high blood pressure is defined as readings of 130 mm Hg and higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or readings of 80 and higher for the diastolic measurement. That is a change from the old definition of 140/90 and higher, reflecting complications that can occur at those lower numbers. According to the new guidelines almost half (46%) of the United States adult population will have hypertension. While approximately 14 percent more people will be diagnosed with high blood pressure, there will only be a small increase in the number of people who will be prescribed medication. By lowering the definition of high blood pressure, the guidelines recommend earlier intervention to prevent further increases in blood pressure and the complications of hypertension.   

The new blood pressure guidelines are as follows:

Blood Pressure Guidelines

Other Guidelines Include:
• Only prescribing medication for Stage I hypertension if a patient has already had a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke, or is at high risk of heart attack or stroke based on age, the presence of diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease or calculation of atherosclerotic risk

• Identifying socioeconomic status and psychosocial stress as risk factors for high blood pressure that should be considered in a patient’s plan of care.

Please find attached, resources for your reference in understanding the new blood pressure guidelines.

For a more information, please visit the AHA website.


HeartHealth+ - research shows thet even small changes to everyday choices can have an overall affect on health. Having the tools that help those choices is a plus.

Health Care Organization: Incorporate Changes into the Structure of Health Care Settings
As a health care organization you are viewed as a key contributor to preventing cardiovascular disease. There are a variety of tools and programs available to incorporate health systems changes into the structure of health care settings. These tools are free to use and can be implemented in a variety of settings to assist patients with achieving proper blood pressure control and optimal cardiovascular health. Access to these tools can be found below.

Resources for Health Care Settings

Community Organizations: these Proven Resources can Encourage your Neighbors to Become Heart Healthy
Community organizations can encourage members of the community to become heart healthy by utilizing a variety of resources. Many resources are free to the public and can be implemented in settings such as churches and community centers. The utilization of community health workers is an integral part of achieving healthy communities and some of the resources below can contribute to enhancing their skills in heart disease prevention. These programs and tools can be implemented in a multitude of community settings and are recommended to achieve heart healthy communities.

Resources for Community Organizations

Schools and Colleges: Heart Disease Prevention Starts Early in Life with Physical Activity and Healthy Eating
It is important to focus on preventing heart disease at early ages starting with physical activity and healthy eating. Focusing on physical activity and healthy eating in children can contribute to preventing the onset of heart disease later in life.

Resources for Schools and Colleges

Worksites: About 60% of Adults Spend Most of their Day at Work
About 60 percent of adults work and spend much of their day at their worksite. Consider implementing some of these changes into your worksites to make it more heart health friendly.

Resources for Worksites