Entries in American Heart Association (19)


American Heart Association Lists Seven Ways to Limit Stroke Risk

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The American Heart Association put out a list this week of the seven health factors that can increase your risk of suffering a stroke.

Nearly 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year, making strokes the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, and a leading cause of disability.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 23,000 Americans age 45 and older and created a scoring system based on seven criteria. Those seven criteria were:

Manage blood pressure
Control cholesterol
Be physically active
Control blood sugar
Keep weight down
Eat a healthful diet (and)
Don't smoke.

Each patient was given a grade from zero to two in each of the above categories. For each point gained, a patient's stroke risk decreased by 8 percent. Patients with a total score of 10 or higher saw a 60 percent drop in their stroke risk. Comparatively, those with a score between five and nine were 40 percent likely to suffer a stroke than those with a score between zero and four.

According to the study, the most important factor in stroke prevention was having good blood pressure.

For Americans, regardless of race, a better score in the AHA's seven criteria was linked to a reduced risk of stroke.

However, blacks generally had worse overall scores, highlighting the added importance for black Americans to improve their scores in the "simple seven" factors.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


American Heart Association Stands Firm on Daily Salt Intake Recommendation

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There is some disagreement among experts about how much salt is too much. Now the American Heart Association has weighed in with the latest opinion.

Even when we're not shaking salt on to our meals, we are still consuming it from all kinds of foods. In fact, most of the sodium in the typical American diet comes from processed and prepared foods.
While there is wide agreement that Americans consume too much salt, and that it contributes to high blood pressure and other problems, there have been recent calls to increase the recommended daily salt allowance for healthy people.
After a broad review of the data, the AHA is standing firm in its guidelines. They say the evidence is strong to restrict salt intake to 1,500 milligrams a day -- even in healthy people. That's less than one teaspoon of table salt.

The group says lowering salt intake has multiple health effects, notably decreasing cardiovascular and kidney disease. They state some of the recent calls for higher salt allowances are "based on flawed analyses of data from observational studies that were not planned to study sodium relationships, with great potential to yield misleading results, and on misinterpretation of clinical trial results."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Those Who Follow Seven Cardiovascular Behaviors Live Longer, Study Finds 

Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- A study published on Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that people who follow seven recommended cardiovascular health behaviors are much less likely to die than those who follow few or none of the behaviors, Health Day reports.

The behaviors include not smoking, eating a healthy diet, having normal cholesterol, blood glucose and total cholesterol levels, being physically active and having normal blood pressure, and are recommended by the American Heart Association.

According to the researchers, cardiovascular disease kills more than 800,000 people a year and accounts for about one in three deaths. It is the number one cause of death in the nation.

Almost 45,000 adults from the United States participated in the study.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Aims to Help Americans Get Healthier; Prevent Bad Heart Health

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. health officials are teaming up with the American Heart Association with the goal of reducing the rate of death from heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease, according to HealthDay News.

But those connected to the new initiative are not simply trying to cut down the number of deaths.  Dr. Ralph L. Sacco, president of the American Heart Association, says it is about encouraging a change in lifestyle that can prevent death from heart disease.

"The goal is to shift the population to a healthier lifestyle," he said.  "It's a much more prevention-oriented goal that we have had in the past."

The goals have been included in those of "Healthy People 2020," an initiative introduced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the objective to improve the nation's health within the next decade.

HHS and the American Heart Association hope to increase the number of people who are regularly tested for high blood pressure and cholesterol and raise awareness of heart attack and stroke early warning signs with the new strategy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Study: Sociable Neighborhoods Increase Stroke Survival Chances

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The chances of an individual surviving a stroke may differ depending on what type of neighborhood the person lives in, according to a study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Rush University studied over 5,000 senior citizens residing in three adjacent Chicago neighborhoods, interviewing study participants about their neighborhood and about how they interact with their neighbors. Other material analyzed in the study included figures from the National Death Index and Medicare claim files, which found 186 stroke deaths and 701 first-time strokes during an 11-year period.

According to a release from the American Heart Association, in their study, researchers factored out variables such as socioeconomic status and cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

The study found that senior citizens residing in supportive neighborhoods tend to better stroke survival rates than others, regardless of other health or socioeconomic factors. The findings of the study show that there were no differences in the incidence of strokes, except for death rates. Researchers did note that benefits were not observed among African-Americans, for unclear reasons. The study also found that as neighborhood cohesion increased on the scoring system used, the survival rate also increased.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: College Athletes Risk Sudden Heart Attacks

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A new study published Monday in Circulation suggests that athletic young people have a higher risk of potentially fatal heart problems.

Researchers examined roughly 400,000 NCAA athletes between the ages of 17 and 23. Collected data found that one in 43,770 died of cardiac arrest.

The study may promote stricter physical examinations of student-athletes. The American Heart Association is also urging colleges and universities to keep more automated external defibrillators around sports arenas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study Suggests More Added Sugar Equals Weight Gain

Polka Dot/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- A new study suggests that added sugar intake is directly related to weight gain, according to HealthDay.

The study, which was conducted by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, examined Minnesota residents for 27 years. Researchers found that over the years patients ate less fat, but more carbohydrates and added sugar. The study also showed that the body-mass index of the patients corresponded with national trends in sugar consumption.

Researchers also found some intriguing differences between men and women. Men ate 38 percent more of their daily calories from added sugar in 2007-2009 than in 1980-1982. By contrast, women ate just under 10 percent more.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association conference in Atlanta on Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: Obese People Underestimate Their Weight

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- Despite repeated warnings by health officials that the U.S. is suffering from an epidemic of obesity, new evidence indicates the people who should believe that the most, realize it the least.

According a study presented at an American Heart Association meeting, many people believe their weight is normal. An attitude that extends to their overweight children. The study concludes overweight parents tend to underestimate the pounds they and their family carry around.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: Shorter Proves Better in CPR Training

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The days of the hours-long office CPR training session may be numbered if the findings of a new study hold true.

A 60-second training video may be all it takes to save a life, researchers found in a new study funded by the American Heart Association.  Study participants who viewed a one-minute CPR instructional video were more likely to attempt CPR and perform a higher quality of CPR than those who did not watch the video.

More surprising was that the group who watched the one-minute training video performed better and made better decisions than those who watched a five or eight-minute version, suggesting that less may be more when it comes to teaching CPR basics.

Dr. Gabe Wilson, associate medical director in the department of emergency medicine at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, said that when information is boiled down to a few clear points, people have much better recall and interest.

"When you know you are going to be provided with important information, and only need to pay attention for 60 seconds, the chances of engaging attention is much greater," said Wilson.

Wilson, who was not involved in the study, said that 60 seconds is enough time to cover the basic fundamentals of CPR.

"We're really excited about this," said Dr. Bentley J. Bobrow, lead author of the study, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Qualities and Outcomes, and clinical associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.

"Survival is really low for sudden cardiac arrest, and it's not drugs or fancy expensive devices or hospital care that helps save the most lives.  It's CPR.  But so few people receive CPR.  It's really a tragedy and lost opportunity," Bobrow said.

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States.  About 300,000 people experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States each year, and their chance of survival declines seven percent to 10 percent with each minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cost of Treating Heart Disease, Stroke to Triple by 2030

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DALLAS) – The aging population of the United States is expected to cause the cost of treating heart disease and stroke to triple by the year 2030.

In a policy statement, the American Heart Association said the cost of treating the diseases in the U.S. is expected to reach $818 billion in the next 20 years.

"The burden of heart disease and stroke on the U.S. health care system will be substantial and will limit our ability to care for the U.S. population unless we can take steps now to prevent cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Paul Heidenreich, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford Medical School. Heidenreich is also the chair of the American Heart Association panel who issued the statement in the January edition of Circulation.

Along with an aging population, the dramatic increase in costs also accounts for an increasingly diverse racial mix in patients. The American Heart Association also points to “unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy environments” that have increased risk factors in Americans.

The percentage of Americans with some type of heart disease is expected to rise to 40.5 percent by 2030, compared to the current figure of 36.9 percent.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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