ACC.16: ‘Prevention’ is word of the day as ACC conference kicks off in Chicago

American College of Cardiology president, Kim Williams Sr., MD, called for the cardiology community to refocus efforts on heart disease prevention, rather than treatment alone, in his opening statements at the 65th Annual Scientific Session & Expo of the ACC in Chicago.

“Cardiovascular disease has been the number one killer of Americans since the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-1920. We are here today to make it number two,” said Williams. With statistics showing only three percent of American people are living healthy lives by not smoking, eating healthy, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight, the need for prevention has never been more stressed."

Williams was followed by a video from First Lady Michelle Obama further emphasizing the need for early prevention. Citing her “Let’s Move” initiative that teaches young children healthy eating habits as well as the importance of exercise, her comments went hand-in-hand with Williams’ speech about the prevention of heart disease though healthy living.

David Nash, MD, MBA, of Jefferson College of Population Health, then spoke further on the ACC’s focus on prevention in his lecture on population health. “We need to focus on the road to primary prevention,” said Nash, “and to quote Dr. Williams, ‘shutting off the faucet instead of mopping up the floor.’”

Nash went on to explain that America spends 19 percent of its gross domestic product on healthcare, yet we are 17th in the world in quality of life. “We need the leadership from the ACC to put us in at least the top 10 with regards to the value of the money that we are spending.”

Nash ended with a quote saying “no outcome, no income," addressing the ACC professionals to push further in patent engagement and to make all medical records available online to reach total professionalism.