7 Steps for a Healthy Heart
From Diet to Exercise to Cholesterol, AHA Identifies 7 Factors for Cardiovascular Health
WebMD News Archive
New Resource for Heart Health
The AHA says its goals represent the first time it has adopted better health
as a principal goal and that it has developed a new online resource, “My Life
Check,” at www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck. By
completing the assessment, people can determine what they need to do to achieve
better cardiovascular health.
“To date, there has been great success in reducing disability and death from
disease and stroke, in part through aggressive improvements in the
diagnosis and treatment of these diseases and in limited uptake of measures to
prevent heart disease and stroke,” Clyde W. Yancy, MD, president of the
American Heart Association, says in the news release. “We achieved our 2010
goal of reducing death by heart disease and stroke by 25%, earlier and by a
wider margin than we had targeted.”
Still, he says, too many people “continue to have unrelenting exposure to
known important risk factors for heart disease and stroke to the point that we
are likely to begin seeing an increase in these diseases, and at an earlier
That, he says, is cause for alarm and a trend that needs to be stopped.
Longer, Healthier Lives
David M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, lead author of the special report, says in
the news release that people who take steps to improve cardiovascular health
can help reduce the financial burden of the Medicare-eligible population.
Lloyd-Jones, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at the
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, says that by
reaching the masses with the new AHA message, “we could change American health
for the better for decades to come.”
That’s especially true if the message gets out to people at middle age and
younger, he says.
Genetics plays a role in cardiovascular health, but people should do all
they can, says Lloyd-Jones, and the first step can be knowing and understanding
measures that are important for heart
“Essentially, everyone is a candidate to take at least one step forward in
these metrics, from poor to intermediate or intermediate to ideal, to move a
substantial portion of the population and have a real impact on cardiovascular
health,” he says.
Yancy, who is medical director of the Baylor Hearth and Vascular Institute
at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, says the Life’s Simple 7 plan
could have a profound impact on health and lead to longer, healthier lives.