Health Index Priority: Decrease Cardiovascular Deaths

MaineHealth remains focused on managing risk factors to prevent heart disease and on maximizing the quality of care for patients who have heart disease.

Why does MaineHealth focus on decreasing cardiovascular deaths?

  • One in three deaths in the United States is due to cardiovascular disease.
  • In the last decade, over 25,000 people in the MaineHealth Service area have died from cardiovascular disease.
  • Although deaths from cardiovascular disease have been steadily decreasing over time in the MaineHealth service area, a recent uptick is cause for concern.
  • One in every six health care dollars is spent on cardiovascular disease.

Data and measures

The Health Index Initiative tracks and monitors a variety of data sources to measure progress being made to decrease cardiovascular deaths.

Cardiovascular Death Rates: MaineHealth Service Area


Death from all types of cardiovascular disease including heart disease, stroke, heart attack and heart failure have been steadily decreasing over the last several decades. In the case of heart attack, the age adjusted rate per 100,000 is almost half of what it was less than 20 years ago. The recent increase in cardiovascular deaths, while not yet a trend, is of concern.

Cardiovascular Death Rates: How Maine Compares to the U.S.


The rates of all cardiovascular deaths in Maine and within the MaineHealth service area have consistently been below the national rate. For decades, age-adjusted rates for deaths due to cardiovascular disease steadily decreased across the U.S.  However, this long-running decline in mortality has recently plateaued, and the most recent data is suggesting an uptick in cardiovascular death rates both nationally and in Maine.

Between 2014 and 2015, Maine was one of 35 states that had an increase in the rate of all cardiovascular deaths. Maine's increase from 193.3 to 201.5 per 100,000 was the fifth highest in the United States.

Taking action: Managing high blood pressure

HealthIndex-Cardiovascular-HTNControlRatesWe support a variety of clinical, community and policy actions to help decrease cardiovascular deaths throughout the MaineHealth service area. One of our clinical strategies focuses on managing high blood pressure.

Physician practices within the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization (MaineHealth ACO) are focused on reducing cardiovascular disease and death by managing the high blood pressure of their patients.

Among patients diagnosed with hypertension, the percentage whose blood pressure was under control (<140/90 mmHg) increased from 68% in December 2015 to 71% in December 2016, surpassing the target goal of 70.5%. Five of six practice groups within the MaineHealth ACO saw improvement during this period.


Interactive maps with county-level data

Looking for more cardiovascular health data? Visit the Health Index website to find data on cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular deaths and screening rates.

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