Mandate Annual Screenings for Heart Disease!
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By signing this petition, you agree that there should be a bill mandating annual screenings for heart disease starting at the age of 30 for ALL patients.
Especially those that have a high risk of cardiovascular disease.
High blood pressure or cholesterol levels, being diabetic, or smoking are all grounds for a referral to a heart doctor. So are things like being obese or overweight, a lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet.
If your parents or any siblings have a history of heart disease, a family physician will want you to get checked out.
Pregnancy-related complications such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia increase the risk of future cardiac complications.
The goal of this petition is to help decrease the number of deaths that can potentially happen outside of hospital care.
Secondly, this mandate could help lower implicit bias that people of color face in health care.
Storytime: Since 1902, heart disease has been the number one killer of all people. Despite this fact, there are still several questions that remain unanswered. For the Black Heart Association, one of the most pressing questions is "Why aren’t more patient being referred for annual screenings by their primary care physician- especially when the patient presents, or there's a family history of, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or even high levels of stress or trauma? Far too often, individuals who have suffered a heart attack, with some even losing their lives, have never been referred to a Cardiologist.
In 2014, our founder, Tara Robinson, suffered three heart attacks over three days! She saw her PCP each year for her wellness check, and always received a clean bill of health. She never missed her yearly wellness appointment with her Primary Care Physician. Even after being rushed to the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack, it wasn't suggested that she see a cardiologist, only that she followup with her Primary Care Doctor. Well, that story ended with Tara suffering a massive attack three days later, needing emergency stent surgery to save her life.
Then there's Stephen Jordan, a young African American male who battled high blood pressure for nearly two decades. Despite visiting his doctor regularly, along with taking three different medications, Stephen was unable to bring his blood pressure under control. On March 9, 2019, Stephen Jordan Sr. suffered a heart attack and died in front of his two teenaged children! When inquiring about why a heart specialist never screened him, the answer we received was, "Because he never complained of any pain."
As stated earlier, stories like Tara and Stephen are happening far too frequently, when something as simple as a heart health screening could change the resolution. Tara, whose heart now operates at a much lower percentage than a normal, healthy heart, could have perhaps avoided her massive attack, and Stephen’s children might still have their dad there to share in all of their special moments that come along with being a teenager and young adult.
Each year in the U.S., approximately 395,000 cases of cardiac arrest occur outside of the hospital setting, with only six percent of those individuals surviving. Of the 200,000 arrests that occur in hospitals each year, only twenty-four percent survive.
The purpose of this petition is simple! By making it mandatory that those of us who present high-risk factors are screened annually for early detection. By doing this, we can look forward to a decrease in health disparities and premature deaths caused by cardiovascular disease.
It’s time for a change!
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