November 2014 – CDC Awards the National Blood Clot Alliance Funding to Expand PUBLIC Awareness About the Risks and Impact of Blood Clots

 ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND – October 21, 2014 – The National Blood Clot Alliance today announced that it has been awarded funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement an education and awareness program aimed at improving public recognition about deadly blood clots that affect up to 900,000 Americans each year.

NBCA will apply these funds to increase awareness about blood clots that form in a person’s leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) and blood clots that travel to a person’s lung (pulmonary embolism or PE). Each year, up to 300,000 people in the United States die due to blood clots in their lungs, which is greater than the number of people who die due to AIDS, breast cancer, and car crashes combined.

“Blood clots represent a tremendous public health burden in the United States, but they frequently go under-diagnosed or they are misdiagnosed,” explains Randy Fenninger, NBCA CEO. “Our new Cooperative Agreement with CDC will help us raise much-needed public awareness about the risks and the signs and symptoms of DVT/PE, and also contribute to a reduction in the number of people who experience life-threatening blood clots.”

Under this new, five-year Cooperative Agreement, NBCA will work with CDC and launch a public DVT/PE awareness program, driven by a dynamic Web-based and social media initiative and amplified further by traditional health education tools.

“We’re extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue our long-standing partnership with CDC,” says Kathleen Smith, NBCA Board President. “The awarding of this newest grant enables NBCA to expand on the successful work we’ve done with CDC in recent years, and to now focus our efforts squarely on the crucial task of increasing public awareness to eliminate deaths due to blood clots. We value this partnership immensely and appreciate the ongoing support of our CDC colleagues.”

High Impact, Low Recognition

Each year in the U.S., about 550,000 hospitalizations are attributed to blood clots. Blood clots do not discriminate. They affect men, women and children, regardless of race, ethnicity, and age. Few people, however, realize that they may be at risk. Some of the primary risk factors for blood clots include: hospitalization and surgery, active cancer or cancer treatment, and the use of estrogen-based birth control or hormone replacement therapy.

“Blood clots have a formidable impact on our public health,” explains Gary Raskob, PhD, Chair of NBCA’s Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, and Dean of the College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. “Blood clots are a leading cause of premature death and disability in our country and globally. We know a great deal today about preventing DVT/PE, and NBCA’s work under this new CDC grant will provide patients and the public with the information they need to work with their healthcare providers to prevent or minimize the impact of blood clots.”

Research conducted by the American Public Health Association shows that nearly three-quarters of the public know little or nothing about DVT. Similar NBCA research shows that fewer than 10% of a national sample had any knowledge of DVT/PE, and of those recognizing the term “blood clot,” fewer than 30% knew the signs, symptoms, and risks.

“Far more work is needed to raise broad consciousness about DVT/PE if prevention, early diagnosis, and prompt treatment are to become the norm,” adds Fenninger. “With this new Cooperative Agreement, our aim is to engage the public and fill these important information gaps.”

NBCA will receive $180,175 in total funding under this CDC cooperative agreement (DD14-1405: 1U27DD001153-01). This funding reflects 100 percent of the total cost of the awareness program that NBCA will conduct under this grant.

NBCA is a non-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke. The organization works on behalf of people who may be susceptible to blood clots, including, but not limited to, people with clotting disorders, atrial fibrillation, cancer, traumatic injury, and risks related to surgery, lengthy immobility, child birth and birth control. NBCA accomplishes its mission through programs that build public awareness, educate patients and healthcare professionals, and promote supportive public and private sector policy.

 

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For more information about blood clots and about NBCA, visit www.stoptheclot.org, or follow NBCA on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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