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AMA Reveals First Step Toward Improving Health Outcomes
First stage of initiative focuses on prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) has announced the first stage of its improving health outcomes initiative, which aims to optimize the health of the nation with a focus on preventing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

The AMA initiative is one of three parts of the AMA's five-year plan to improve patients' health outcomes as part of optimizing the health of the nation. In the first phase the AMA will work with ongoing national programs, encouraging patients and physicians to focus on prevention and control of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The AMA, in partnership with the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, aims to help meet and exceed the goal of bringing the high blood pressure of 10 million more Americans under control by 2017. In addition, the AMA will support the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Diabetes Prevention Program to help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes among the one in three U.S. adults with prediabetes, by encouraging referrals for patients with prediabetes to an evidence-based lifestyle modification program.

"Cardiovascular disease accounts for one-third of all deaths in our nation, and one in three adults could have diabetes by 2050 if current trends continue," Jeremy Lazarus, M.D., president of the AMA, said in a statement. "The toll of these diseases on our nation is staggering -- in terms of human suffering and health care costs. The direct and indirect cost of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is more than $535 billion a year."

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