Most Americans’ Hearts Are Older Than Their Age

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A great article from PRWeb and the CDC, please share your comments below…..

healthyheartHigher heart age means higher risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Your heart may be older than you are – and that’s not good. According to a new CDC Vital Signs report, 3 out of 4 U.S. adults have a predicted heart age that is older than their actual age. This means they are at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke.

“Heart age” is the calculated age of a person’s cardiovascular system based on his or her risk factor profile. The risks include high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes status, and body mass index as an indicator for obesity.

This is the first study to provide population-level estimates of heart age and to highlight disparities in heart age nationwide. The report shows that heart age varies by race/ethnicity, gender, region, and other sociodemographic characteristics

CDC researchers used risk factor data collected from every U.S. state and information from the Framingham Heart Study to determine that nearly 69 million adults between the ages of 30 and 74 have a heart age older than their actual age. That’s about the number of people living in the 130 largest U.S. cities combined.

“Too many U.S. adults have a heart age years older than their real age, increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Everybody deserves to be young – or at least not old – at heart.”

Key findings in the report include:

* Overall, the average heart age for adult men is 8 years older than their chronological age, compared to 5 years older for women.

* Although heart age exceeds chronological age for all race/ethnic groups, it is highest among African-American men and women (average of 11 years older for both).

* Among both U.S. men and women, excess heart age increases with age and decreases with greater education and household income.

* There are geographic differences in average heart age across states. Adults in the Southern U.S. typically have higher heart ages. For example, Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Alabama have the highest percentage of adults with a heart age 5 years or more over their actual age, while Utah, Colorado, California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have the lowest percentage.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease and http://www.cdc.gov/stroke. Visit millionhearts.hhs.gov to learn about Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Vital Signs is a report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators. These are cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco use, motor vehicle passenger safety, prescription drug overdose, HIV/AIDS, alcohol use, health care-associated infections, cardiovascular health, teen pregnancy, food safety, and viral hepatitis.

Million Hearts And EatingWell Magazine Launch Heart-Healthy Nutrition Resource

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saltshakerThe Million Hearts initiative announces the launch of a new Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Resource Center, developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and EatingWell magazine. The resource center features lower-sodium, heart-healthy recipes and family-friendly meal plans, with an emphasis on managing sodium intake, a major contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease.

By helping individuals and families access content and recipes to promote consumption of healthier foods, this consumer-friendly addition to existing Million Hearts tools supports the initiative’s goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes.

“Because sodium is a major contributor to high blood pressure, it is important to help people understand how they can manage sodium intake at home,” said Janet S. Wright, MD, FACC, Executive Director of Million Hearts. “This online resource offers practical, accessible eating and lifestyle-based solutions for people looking for ways to reduce sodium in their diet and create heart-healthy, tasty meals for themselves and their families.”

All the recipes featured in the resource center include nutritional facts and use everyday ingredients found at local supermarkets and have been tested by EatingWell’s test kitchen. Search and filter options make it easier to quickly find the right meal based on prep time, cuisine, course, and number of servings. The meal plans are flexible, easy to use, convenient, and can be customized to an individual’s dietary needs.

saladplate“This resource helps people see that it’s not about giving up the food you love, but choosing lower sodium options that taste great,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the CDC. “Small changes can make a big difference. We can prevent 11 million cases of high blood pressure each year if everyone reduced their daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg.”

To learn more about the Million Hearts Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Resource Center, visit recipes.millionhearts.hhs.gov/. Million Hearts is a joint initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For more information about the initiative and to access resources, visit millionhearts.hhs.gov.

About Million Hearts

Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke.

School Principals Compete With Their Hearts

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applescaleFrom Your Health Journal…..”What an amazing local story out of the Deseret News by Wendy Leonard called School Principals Compete With Their Hearts. I think of the old song with the line ‘where have you gone Joe DiMaggio’ – where a nation looks for a role model. Principals at 15 schools in Utah are going head-to-head in a challenge that will test their hearts during national heart month. Each has pledged to exercise, eat healthy and incorporate wellness into their lives for at least the next 100 days. What an amazing act of leadership, and to set examples for their young students to follow. With heart disease on the rise all over the country, and childhood obesity rising in many areas, these adults are stepping up to the plate to show their students the importance of healthy lifestyle. I found this story unique, motivating, well written, informative, and most of all – inspiring. Best of luck to these educators. Please visit the Deseret News web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Principals at 15 schools throughout the Salt Lake Valley are going head-to-head in a challenge that will test their hearts.

Each has pledged to exercise, eat healthy and incorporate wellness into their lives for at least the next 100 days, during the Intermountain Heart Institute’s My Heart Challenge. The same challenge pitted a dozen city leaders against each other last year, resulting in healthier mayors and communities county-wide.

“I figured they’d have different obstacles to face, but principals are also really busy people and will face the same struggles as city leaders in finding the time to exercise, but they also have the support of hundreds of kids in their schools who are cheering for them,” said Meagan Kline, an exercise physiologist at Intermountain Healthcare. “The accountability may be more prominent, however, because they will see their kids every day of the challenge.”

Many of the participating principals plan to involve their students in the cause, rallying support for themselves to bring them closer to the two $1,000 prizes provided by the Heart Institute.

Cottonwood Elementary Principal Karen Chatterton said a family history of heart disease drew her into the competition.

“It’s important to be healthy,” she said. “I’ve decided to quit kidding myself and saying it is not going to happen to me, because, let’s face it, the odds are against me.”

Chatterton, 62, is looking forward to improving her lifestyle and feeling better about her body. A former dancer, she said she “knows what it feels like to be in shape and have my body work more efficiently.”

Targeting principals in the Salt Lake City, Granite, Murray, Jordan and Canyons districts, as well as from two private schools, is intended to draw children into the friendly competition, giving them more reason to make healthy choices. Kline said the 15 participating principals have the opportunity to play a part in decreasing a growing epidemic of childhood obesity.

To read the full article…..Click here

Taking Care Of Our Hearts

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heartFrom Your Health Journal…..”February is Heart Month, so we will be focusing a lot on keeping a healthy heart. A great article in the Huffington Post written by Kathleen Sebelius, The Secretary of Health and Human Services – the article is called More than Valentine’s Day: Taking Care of Our Hearts. With heart disease still the number one killer in the United States, and many kids suffering from risk factors for heart disease, change is needed to keep ourselves healthy and strong. Each year, heart disease takes the lives of more than half a million Americans. The good news is that most of the risk factors for heart disease–including obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking–are preventable and controllable. Please take the time to visit the Huffington Post web site (link provided below) to read this important article by Secretary Sebelius. It is important to understand, and to inspire you to keep your heart healthy.”

From the article…..

February is American Heart Month, which makes this a good time to talk about the ways the Affordable Care Act helps us take better care of our hearts.

Right now, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every year, it takes the lives of more than half a million Americans: these are our grandparents, our parents, our siblings, our friends, and our neighbors. Although many people think of heart disease as
a man’s problem, women can and do get heart disease.

This epidemic kills more women than diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and lung cancer combined. In the United States, a woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds.

The good news is that most of the risk factors for heart disease–including obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking–are preventable and controllable.

Now, because of the health care law, millions of Americans with private plans can get life-saving preventive services like high blood pressure screening and help to quit smoking, without paying a penny out-of-pocket.

And seniors and people with disabilities who have Medicare can now get recommended preventive services like obesity counseling and cholesterol screening free of charge.

The law also invests in programs like the Million Hearts initiative, which aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years. And it invests in the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which helps fight the causes of chronic illnesses like heart disease by, among other things, controlling the obesity epidemic, tackling health disparities, and reducing tobacco use.

Combined with these efforts, having the security of quality, affordable health insurance is also vital in the fight against heart disease. In less than a year, it will be illegal for insurance companies to deny any American coverage because of a pre-existing condition, like heart disease.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Mom, Dad And Healthy Hearts In Kids

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

familytvParents can be the most powerful creators of good heart health in their children. If they teach their kids how to eat right, cook great tasting foods that are heart healthy they can raise a generation free from the dangers of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. What mom and dad wouldn’t want to pass that along to their children? Heart Easy can show you how to raise heart healthy kids who are also protected from Type II diabetes using a low saturated fat diet, reduced sodium and sugar while cooking food that kids love. What kid wouldn’t dive into a delicious healthy pizza or a bowl of yummy, reinvented Mac & Cheese? Heart health and good taste really can go hand in hand if you follow the Heart Easy way.

How about turning heart health into a family project? Set aside one month as Family Heart Health Month. (February is the perfect month because it is heart health month!) Invite every family member to participate at a once-a-week gathering you put on the calendar.

Provide a list in advance with the following:

Assignments:

1) Bring something you’ve learned about heart health to the gathering to share with everyone. (It can be a hand out, a website or an article you’ve read that talks about heart health.)

2) Bring a recipe to share and to prepare for the meeting that is heart healthy and delicious. (Ask for help if you need it.)

3) Research and describe the parts of the heart and how it works. (Provide visuals)

4) Pretend you’re a doctor and give heart health advice to your patient.

5) Bring in three things that constitute good heart health.

Activities: (during the meeting)

1) read a label and describe what’s good and what’s bad on it.

2) cook a heart healthy dessert together

3) make a list of your favorite fast foods and Google the nutritional content and calorie of your choices.

4) make a list of healthy foods that support your heart.

familyrunningYou can accomplish this by visiting www.HeartEasy.com and come out looking like a heart star to your family. There’s no reason you or your children should have to be a victim of heart disease. Make learning about heart health fun, adventurous and delicious. It’s a new year and time to change old habits and create good ones.

Wouldn’t you sleep so much better knowing that you were passing along healthy hearts to you children instead of clogged arteries and heart disease? Take an active role in their heart health by being a leader through the example you set in the kitchen. It’s easy and you can make it a lot of fun.

– Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding.

While earning her Ph.D. in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University.

She also earned a doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. Her practice includes, weight control, smoking cessation, behavior modification, stress reduction, past-life regression, meditation training and phobia management. Her books include: “Heart Easy, The Food Lover’s Guide to Heart Healthy Eating,” “Discover Your Spiritual Genius,” “Feng Shui the Easy Way,” “Dancing with the Moon,” “21 Days to the Love of Your Life,” “Gold Mind,” “Cheese Dome Power,” The Path to Fabulous,” “The Quick Guide to Bach Flower Remedies” and “Supreme Healing.”