Durham Neighborhood CompassDurham Neighborhood Compass

Why This is Important

Heart attacks (also called myocardial infarction) occur when a coronary artery is fully or partially blocked, stopping blood flow to the heart. Most of these incidents happen because of a buildup of substances like cholesterol in the artery, but spasms induced by drug use can also cause an attack.

In 2017 3,152 adults in Durham County were diagnosed with heart attacks, 1.86% of the 169,115 patients treated at Duke and Lincoln Community Health.

Stress in your life - especially chronic or recurring stress - can be a major factor leading to heart disease and heart attack. Racism, financial pressure, housing instability, and rapid community change all cause stress in our lives. Another major influence on heart disease and heart attack is exposure to air pollution - which is itself a chronic physical stress for our bodies.

To reduce one’s risk of heart attacks, there are seven factors to keep in mind. These include an individual’s: smoking status, diet, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose (Life’s Simple 7, The American Heart Association). Research shows that people who maintain optimal levels for just three to four of these measures cut their risk of heart-related death by more than half.

About the Data

This information is from Duke Health and Lincoln Community Health Center, provided by Duke's Center for Community and Population Health Improvement. Heart attack or MI diagnoses are based on health care visits documented in this combined dataset, including a total of 169,115 adults of a countywide total of 245,572 (2017). Heart attack or MI incidents are those coded as ICD 410.01, 410.11, 410.21, 410.31, 410.41, 410.51, 410.61, 410.71, 410.81, 410.91, I21, I22 and I25.2.

In order to preserve privacy, the data reported in the compass for this metric excludes census areas with either case counts (numerator) or total patient counts (denominator) less than 10.

When a patient has an interaction with a healthcare provider, this is called an encounter. An encounter can be a single, brief event (such as a regular primary care appointment) or it can be across multiple days (such as a hospital stay). To determine metrics for a particular year, Duke Health Technology only includes adult patients who had an encounter in that same calendar year. If a patient had a hospitalization that lasted multiple days across two calendar years (e.g. 12/15/15 – 1/15/16), DHT used the discharge date to determine their inclusion.

Source: Duke Health and Lincoln Community Health Center

Additional Resources

ResourceLearn More and Take Action
Life’s Simple 7Learn more about Life’s Simple 7 from the American Heart Association and the modifiable changes you can make to improve overall heart health.
High Blood PressureFind out more about high blood pressure and how to self-manage your blood pressure through easy tips and tracking methods.
Heart Disease and the EnvironmentLearn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how exposure to air pollution can influence heart disease and heart attack.
Air ContaminantsA CDC resource describing the primary air pollutants and the health impacts of exposure to them.
AirNowEnter your ZIP code in this site to learn about today's air quality in the region around you.
Stress and Heart HealthWhether your stress comes from interpersonal or more systemic causes, there are some simple things you can do to manage your body's health despite it.
Durham County Network of CareThe Durham Network of Care provides comprehensive information on local services and organizations and a Learning Center dedicated to topics related to health and well-being, as well as the ability to create a confidential and secure Personal Health Record to keep information on helpful services, contacts and your medical history.
Partnership for a Healthy Durham Obesity, Diabetes, and Food Access CommitteeGet involved by participating in monthly work group meetings focusing on increasing access to healthy foods; increasing physical activity opportunities including Healthy Mile Trails; and coordinating chronic disease education resources in Durham County.
Health IndicatorsThe Health Indicators Project site for chronic conditions data, neighborhood influences on health and resources for learning more and taking action.
Census TractsCensus Blockgroups

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Data Distribution, 2019

Heart Attack (Adult Population)

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