The Heart Truth Delaware Steering Committee

A hearty THANK YOU for the passion and commitment of
The Heart Truth Delaware
Steering Committee!

(several members pictured at the final steering committee meeting)

NEW, FREE The Heart Truth® Professional Education Program Materials and e-CME on Heart Disease & Brief Interventions for Behavior Change

Awareness of heart disease among women has nearly doubled in the last 12 years, but it remains the #1 killer of women. More than 60% of women ages 20-39 and more than 80% of women ages 40-60 have one or more modifiable risk factors for heart disease.

Through our partnership with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Office on Women’s Health, we are pleased to invite you to browse new Heart Truth Professional Education Program materials on women’s heart disease prevention (

View and print the flyer for the 2011 Update of The Heart Truth® Professional Education Materials here.

We also invite you to earn free CME credits through new Medscape modules on women’s heart disease ( Learn about Motivational Interviewing to support heart healthy behaviors and evidence-based prevention strategies and tools. These new resources have been updated to reflect the American Heart Association’s newest cardiovascular disease guidelines for women.

We at The Heart Truth Delaware encourage health care professionals to use these resources and stay up-to-date on women’s heart disease risk and prevention. Join the Million Hearts movement with us, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Heart Truth campaign, and the Office on Women’s Health’s Make the Call. Don’t Miss a Beat. campaign. Help prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.

®The Heart Truth, its logo and The Red Dress are registered trademarks of HHS.

News Release: Medicare to Pay for Weight Loss Screening & Counseling by Primary Care Providers, Private Health Plans May Follow

Effective immediately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will cover the entire cost of primary care providers screening and counseling for weight loss and weight management for obese patients.  CMS will pay for physicians, nurses and physican assistants to provide dietary assessment, behavioral therapy and intensive behavioral counseling.  For more than one-third, or13 million, Medicare beneficiaries who are obses, CMS has made effective weight loss a priority. 

This is important news for younger people too, as Medicaid and private insurers usually follow Medicare’s lead in their determination of benefits.

Under the new rules, beneficiaries whose body mass index is 30 or higher are eligible for counseling services.  The new covered benefits includes:

  • one face-to-face counseling session every week for a month
  • then counseling every other week for an additional five months
  • beneficiaries who lose at least 6.6 pounds at the end of six months are eligible for six more monthly counseling sessions

“I think it’s fantastic,” says Dr. Marijane Hynes, a primary care physician at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates Weight Loss Clinic, quoted in Kaiser Health News.

“We’ve been dealing with diabetes and hypertension and working backwards,” Dr. Hynes says.  Now physicians can address obesity on its own, hopefully before related medical problems arise. 

Listen to the full story on NPR’s Morning Edition and read the transcript.

News Release: Motivational Interviewing Enhances Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Patients

A systematic review and meta-analysis of a dozen randomized clinical control trials using Motivational Interviewing in behavioral interventions for weight loss was published in Obesity Reviews

Motivational interviewing, a directive, patient-centred counselling approach focused on exploring and resolving ambivalence, has emerged as an effective therapeutic approach within the addictions field. However, the effectiveness of motivational interviewing in weight-loss interventions is unclear. 

  • Motivational interviewing was associated with a greater reduction in body mass compared to controls (SMD = −0.51 [95% CI −1.04, 0.01])
  • There was a significant reduction in body weight (kg) for those in the intervention group compared with those in the control group (WMD = −1.47 kg [95% CI −2.05, −0.88])
  • For the BMI outcome, the WMD was −0.25 kg m−2 (95% CI −0.50, 0.01). 
  • Motivational Interviewing appears to enhance weight loss in overweight and obese patients.

News Release: Medicare Covers Intensive Behavior Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease, Focus on the 5 A’s

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) determined this week that intensive behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is reasonable and necessary for the prevention or early detection of illness or disability.   Under this coverage decision, CMS will cover one face-to-face visit annually to allow patients and their care providers to determine the best way to help prevent CVD. The visit must be furnished by primary care practitioners, such as a beneficiary’s family practice physician, internal medicine physician, or nurse practitioner, in settings such as physicians’ offices.  During these visits, providers may screen for hypertension and promote healthy diet as part of an overall initiative to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the United States.

This new coverage policy will add to the existing portfolio of free preventive services that are now available for people with Medicare, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. It contributes to the Million Hearts initiative led jointly by CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with other HHS agencies, communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, and private sector partners across the country to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the next five years.

Under this coverage decision, CMS will cover one face-to-face visit each year to allow patients and their care providers to determine the best way to help prevent cardiovascular disease. The visit must be furnished by primary care practitioners, such as a beneficiary’s family practice physician, internal medicine physician, or nurse practitioner, in settings such as physicians’ offices.  During these visits, providers may screen for hypertension and promote healthy diet as part of an overall initiative to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Intensive behavioral therapy for CVD will consist of the following three components:
•    encouraging aspirin use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease when the benefits outweigh the risks for men age 45-79 years and women 55-79 years;
•    screening for high blood pressure in adults age 18 years and older; and
•    intensive behavioral counseling to promote a healthy diet for adults with hyperlipidemia, hypertension, advancing age and other known risk factors for cardiovascular and diet-related chronic disease.

The behavioral counseling intervention for aspirin use and healthy diet should be consistent with the Five As approach that has been adopted by the USPSTF to describe such services:

•Assess:  Ask about/assess behavioral health risk(s) and factors affecting choice of behavior change goals/methods.
•Advise:  Give clear, specific, and personalized behavior change advice, including information about personal health harms and benefits.
•Agree:  Collaboratively select appropriate treatment goals and methods based on the patient’s interest in and willingness to change the behavior.
•Assist:  Using behavior change techniques (self-help and/or counseling), aid the patient in achieving agreed-upon goals by acquiring the skills, confidence, and social/environmental supports for behavior change, supplemented with adjunctive medical treatments when appropriate.
•Arrange:  Schedule follow-up contacts (in person or by telephone) to provide ongoing assistance/support and to adjust the treatment plan as needed, including referral to more intensive or specialized treatment.

To read the new policy, visit the CMS website.

For more information on Million Hearts, visit our news release.

What Can We Do For You & Your Practice?

At no cost to your group or organization, we can share The Heart Truth Delaware professional education materials and lectures in a variety of venues or events tailored to your specific needs, such as:

  • Breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings
  • Staff educational workshops and meetings
  • Speakers for scheduled conferences, Residency Lectures and Grand Rounds

We can also provide Motivational Interviewing Training for you and your staff.  Incorporating this counseling technique into your practice will empower your patients to make significant health behavior changes.

Our Community Resource Guide informs your staff of the local services available to prevent, manage and treat CVD.

How you can reach us

Please call (302) 428-6367 to speak with Sonya Feinberg Addo, MPH, Deputy Project Director.  You can also email Sonya at

News Release: Insomnia Raises Risk of Heart Attack

A new study of 52,610 Norweigan men and women revealed that those with chronic insomnia had an increased risk of heart attack.  The article was published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association on October 24, 2011. 

Researchers related heart attack risks to three major insomnia symptoms. Compared to people who reported never or almost never having these problems, people who reported the following during the last month:
  • had trouble falling asleep almost daily had a 45% higher heart attack risk;
  • had problems staying asleep almost every night had a 30% higher heart attack risk; and
  • didn’t wake up feeling refreshed in the morning more than once a week had a 27% greater risk

The researchers did not control for sleep apnea, known to be associated with cardiovascular illness, but they did control for body mass index and blood pressure, two factors highly correlated with that disorder.

“Sleep problems are common and fairly easy to treat,” said Lars Erik Laugsand, M.D., lead researcher and internist from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Department of Public Health in Trondheim. “So it’s important that people are aware of this connection between insomnia and heart attack and talk to their doctor if they’re having symptoms.”

“This is just one study,” said Dr. Laugsand, “and more are needed to try to explain the mechanisms behind these associations, which are unclear.”


News Release: CDC Reports Decrease in Prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report stated the following:

To estimate state-specific CHD prevalence and recent trends by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and education, CDC analyzed data from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys for the period 2006–2010. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which determined that, although self-reported CHD prevalence declined overall, substantial differences in prevalence existed by age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, and state of residence. These data can enable state and national health agencies to monitor CHD prevalence as a measure of progress toward meeting the Healthy People 2020 objective to reduce the U.S. rate of CHD deaths 20% from the 2007 baseline

  • Age-adjusted mortality rates for coronary heart disease (CHD) have declined steadily in the United States since the 1960s.
  • From 2006 to 2010, age-adjusted CHD prevalence in the United States declined overall from 6.7% to 6.0%
  • Similar declines in CHD were observed across age group, sex, and education categories. Among racial/ethnic populations, declines from 2006 to 2010 were observed among whites (6.4% to 5.8%) and Hispanics (6.9% to 6.1%)
  • Among racial/ethnic populations, CHD prevalence was greatest in 2010 among American Indians/Alaska Natives (11.6%), followed by blacks (6.5%), Hispanics (6.1%), whites (5.8%), and Asians or Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (3.9%). By race and sex in 2010, the greatest male prevalences were among American Indian/Alaska Natives (14.3%) and whites (7.7%), and the greatest females prevalences were among American Indian/Alaska Natives (8.4%) and blacks (5.9%).

News Release: An Apple & Pear A Day Keep the Strokes Away

A Dutch study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables with white flesh may protect against stroke.

Researchers examined the link between fruits and vegetable color group consumption with 10-year stroke incidence in a population-based study of 20,069 adults, with an average age of 41. The participants were free of cardiovascular diseases at the start of the study and completed a 178-item food frequency questionnaire for the previous year.
Fruits and vegetables were classified in four color groups:
  • Green, including dark leafy vegetables, cabbages and lettuces
  • Orange/Yellow, which were mostly citrus fruits
  •  Red/Purple, which were mostly red vegetables
  • White, of which 55 percent were apples and pears
While previous studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables with lower stroke risk, the researchers’ prospective work is the first to examine associations of fruits and vegetable color groups with stroke.
  • Each 25 gram per day increase in white fruits and vegetable consumption was associated with a 9 percent lower risk of stroke. An average apple is 120 grams.
  •  During 10 years of follow-up, 233 strokes were documented. Green, orange/yellow and red/purple fruits and vegetables weren’t related to stroke. However, the risk of stroke incidence was 52 percent lower for people with a high intake of white fruits and vegetables compared to people with a low intake.

Read additional study highlights here.

Get Up and Do Something!


Get Up And Do Something is a program of the Delaware Coalition to Promote Physical Activity and Healthy Nutrition. In accordance with the goals set forth in the Healthy Delaware 2010 report, the program aims to increase regular physical activity and improve the nutritional health of Delawareans.

Visit for useful health information and great tips on stress management, nutrition, and physical activity, along with healthy recipes and community health events.