WASHINGTON (October 5, 2009) To help draw attention to National Child Health Day (today), the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) has released findings from a new national consumer survey and launched a campaign to educate families about heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
The national survey revealed that more than three in five (61%) Americans incorrectly believe that the processes related to heart disease do not begin until adulthood.
Alarmingly, fewer than four in ten (38%) correctly surmise that people should be concerned about living a heart-healthy lifestyle to prevent a future heart attack beginning in childhood, and continuing throughout every life stage.
While the old adage says "an apple a day will keep the doctor away," a new study on heart disease shows that a more comprehensive approach to being heart-healthy is key.
According to the study, published in September in an advance online edition of the journal Circulation, even with the success of past heart disease awareness and education campaigns the trend toward reducing cardiovascular risk is now headed in a negative direction. The vast majority (92%) of Americans are still at risk, primarily because of the rise in obesity.
"This is a wake up call for parents and their children in particular," says Laura Hayman, Ph.D., RN, a member of the PCNA Board of Directors and a leading researcher on obesity and cardiovascular disease in children, adolescents, and families. "Some strides have been made; however, since more and more children are currently overweight, they are more likely at risk for obesity-related conditions later in life such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes."
As two Harvard professors noted in an accompanying editorial in the Circulation e-publication, millions of Americans enter adulthood already overweight and thus are putting themselves at risk for a lifetime of disease and early death.
|Contact: Sarah Wally, RD|