By RON WINSLOW
Wall Street Journal
In a shift of emphasis in the battle against cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association is urging people to embrace prevention rather than just try to avoid risks long associated with the world’s leading killer.
The Dallas-based organization unveiled a list of seven steps people can take to help prevent heart attacks and strokes and live healthy lives well into old age. The recommendations, which include staying smoke-free, eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise, are all familiar. But leaders hope a more pro-active message comprising the entire package of steps will help blunt the impact of the obesity epidemic and build on four decades of progress against the ravages of cardiovascular disease.
“We’ve always looked Buy cheap Cialis at this from the risk side of the equation,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, head of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago. “It’s important to push the agenda of promoting health, not just avoiding disease.”
Dr. Lloyd-Jones is lead author of a scientific statement being published in the AHA journal Circulation describing the science behind the strategy. The paper doesn’t break any new ground on heart-disease risk. Indeed, in addition to the steps on smoking, diet and exercise, the report urges people to control cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and a measure of healthy weight called body mass index.
Each of the recommendations has long been at the foundation of heart-disease free cialis pills prevention, but Dr. Lloyd-Jones says their impact taken as a whole hasn’t previously been appreciated.
By attaining goals in all seven steps, Dr. Lloyd-Jones said, people would achieve “ideal” cardiovascular health with a likelihood of living healthy lives well into old age. Together, they amount to “a fountain of youth for the heart,” he said.
Clyde Yancy, a cardiologist at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and president of the AHA, said in the decade just ended, deaths from heart disease fell nearly 40% in the U.S. while mortality from stroke dropped 35%.
The AHA’s aim is to reduce cardiovascular deaths by another 20% by 2020. But the rise in obesity is “the underbelly of the whole story,” Dr. Yancy said. “If we don’t do something to turn this process around, we’re talking about losing all of these gains.”
Dr. Yancy also said the AHA’s approach is consistent with the goals of overhauling the U.S. health-care system. “A healthier population requires much less health care expenditures,” he said. “If you want to see real health-care reform we need to find a way to achieve a healthy population.”
To attain “ideal” cardiovascular health, a person needs to have never smoked or not smoked for at least a year; eat a healthy diet; get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week; achieve a body-mass index of less than 25; maintain total cholesterol below 200, blood pressure below 120/80 and fasting blood sugar below 100.
The Circulation paper says people are at poor, intermediate or ideal heart health depending on how well they meet all seven targets.
You can check how close you are to ideal cardiovascular health at www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck
Write to Ron Winslow at firstname.lastname@example.org