Help Address Heart Health Disparities During Black History Month and American Heart Month

Date: February 2, 2022

During February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office on Minority Health (CMS OMH), celebrates American Heart Month and Black History Month. According to Heart Disease Facts from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about 18.2 million adults over the age of 20 have heart disease, which is also the leading cause of death for all Americans, accounting for about 659,000 deaths every year. CMS OMH hopes to underline the importance of prevention and care management, especially as it relates to the heart health of Black communities, who are often disproportionately affected by heart conditions and related risk factors. Black people are disproportionately impacted by diabetes and obesity and certain social determinants of health, like access to healthy foods and physical activity, which also have negative impacts that can lead to increased risk of heart disease. 

In addition to being the leading cause of death for men and women, heart disease is also the leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., including Black people. Heart disease accounts for 23.5% of deaths for all Black peoples, while also accounting for 23.9% of deaths among Black men and 23.1% of deaths among Black women. By recognizing American Heart Month and Black History Month together, CMS OMH has an opportunity to advance health equity for all Americans by highlighting resources and initiatives that can help those disproportionately impacted by heart disease. Below is a list of resources to share during February and beyond.


  • Review the Ischemic Heart Disease Disparities in Medicare Fee-For-Service Beneficiaries data snapshot to learn more about the prevalence of ischemic heart disease (also known as coronary artery disease) among people enrolled in Medicare Fee-For-Service. Additional relevant data snapshots include: Atrial Fibrillation, Diabetes , Heart Failure and Obesity
  • Visit CMS OMH website to learn more about the Connected Care campaign, which explains the benefits of chronic care management (CCM) for patients with multiple chronic conditions. The campaign also provides health care professionals with resources to implement CCM in their practices.
  • View the Coverage to Care (C2C) Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You, which helps to explain what health coverage is and how to use it to get primary care and preventive services. This resource is available in 8 languages.
  • Download C2C Prevention Resources to share with your patients so that they are aware of services available at no cost to them under most health coverage. This resource is available in 8 languages.