Provides information, guidance and oversight to VHA Cardiology initiatives to ensure quality heart care. More than 30% of enrolled Veterans have heart problems. VHA implants approximately 10,000 pacemakers and defibrillators each year. The Cardiac Implant Surveillance System was established in 1982 and remotely monitors implant performance. The National Implantable Device Registry follows Veterans with cardiac implants and tracks recalls and device related problems.
Cardiovascular disease refers to conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels. It describes conditions ranging from peripheral artery disease and high blood pressure to heart attacks and strokes. It is the number-one killer of Americans, and the leading cause of hospitalization in the VA health care system. It is also a major cause of disability.
Another reason why cardiovascular disease is particularly important to Veterans is that it is associated with a number of other diseases that often affect them. These include diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and posttraumatic stress disorder. VA’s