Navigation Links
Lifestyle Interventions Needed to Stay Heart-Healthy

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- There's no lack of scientific evidence proving that staying in shape and eating right are critical to a long and healthy life, but the fact that over 8 million Americans have histories of heart attack, stroke or heart failure suggests that too few are taking the message seriously.

That's the theme of a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA), which reviewed 74 previously published studies and developed specific behavioral-health strategies to help people stay heart-healthy.

The AHA finds that common-sense steps -- things as simple as writing down how much you exercise each day -- can keep people on track to stay heart-healthy.

"If the patient works with the doctors and writes it down, like keeping diaries of either food or activities, that that small bit of information can really help translate into the patient keeping motivated to follow the healthier lifestyle," noted Dr. Mary Ann McLaughlin, president of the AHA's New York City Board of Directors.

"This is a systematic review of multiple studies that have addressed lifestyle changes as they relate to physical activity and diet," added Dr. Ralph Sacco, AHA president and a professor of neurology, epidemiology and human genetics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "It's a very rigorous scientific process that grades and reviews all the existing literature that is out there on behavioral change. This paper actually talks about the scientific evidence supporting approaches of how to change."

The new statement was released online Monday and will appear in the July 27 issue of Circulation.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of both men and women in United States. Lifestyle factors, namely a poor diet and lack of physical activity, are major culprits in the twin epidemics of obesity and heart disease.

According to background information in the study, improving such lifestyle factors to eradicate major cardiovascular disease would boost Americans' average life expectancy by close to 7 years.

Having a good sense of your current cardiovascular condition is a good start, the experts said.

"'Life's Simple 7' is one way people can understand what the risks are and then begin to take control of their own health," Sacco said. The AHA program asks Americans to follow seven guidelines for a healthy life, including monitoring their blood pressure and staying active.

Other studies revealed that cognitive-behavioral strategies -- interventions that help a person change specific unhealthy behaviors -- are a cornerstone of efforts to making lasting lifestyle changes.

Setting concrete goals is also important, and goals that target a behavior (how much you eat, for example) rather than an outcome (blood pressure levels, for instance) are even better, several studies have found.

In conjunction with this, those who are successful at making lifestyle changes also tend to self-monitor, not only to understand what their foibles and stumbling blocks are, but also to monitor progress. Here it helps to actually track your program, writing down how far you're walking or how much you're eating and giving yourself credit for progress made.

"If you look at weight loss, plenty of studies show that those who are successful are the ones that write down honestly what they eat every day," said McLaughlin, who is also associate professor of medicine and cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "This particular guideline showed that if that same thing goes for physical activity, if the doctor says go out and exercise 30 minutes a day and write it down, that that interaction helps motivate the patient to put it down. Once they see it in print, they're more likely to keep up with it."

Follow-up is also important; the more you keep in touch with a healthcare provider or mentor, the more likely you are to get weight off, keep it off and minimize your future heart risks.

But it's going to take more than individual efforts to effect any kind of lasting change, the authors stated.

"AHA has an advocacy committee that has set some strategic goals that we want policy makers to consider," Sacco said.

These include more physical activity in the schools and programs specifically targeted to preventing childhood obesity (such as Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative).

Changes in food labeling, such as those in place in New York City and other areas, help make consumers more aware of what they're putting in their bodies and therefore could also help, Sacco said.

Many cities are already mandating limits on trans-fats.

"Calorie labeling or quantity labeling is important for food items and menu labeling," Sacco said.

And more preventive services need to be covered under the Affordable Health Care Act, he added.

More information

Visit the American Heart Association for more on how to take care of your heart.

SOURCES: Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., president, American Heart Association and professor of neurology, epidemiology and human genetics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Mary Ann McLaughlin, M.D., associate professor of medicine and cardiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City and president, AHA New York City Board of Directors, July 27, 2010, Circulation

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. and the LifestyleMom Radio Cafe Aim to Help Women Create a Family Life and "Me Life" That They Truly Love
2. Moms Lifestyle in Early Pregnancy Affects Babys Size
3. For Valentine's Day, Lifestyle Correspondent and Her Two Sets of Twins Show a Little Love Where Its Needed the Most
4. Gilsbar's Health & Lifestyle Management Program Wins First Place Award at the National Workforce Health Economics Summit
5. Want to Live a Healthier Lifestyle? Now Theres an App for That, Too!
6. Introducing KePRO(TM) Engage Health - A Revolutionary Wellness & Lifestyle Management Company
7. Cell Science Systems Recruits Seasoned Executive to Head New Lifestyle Medicine & Nutritional Solution for Health Care Professionals
8. Free Anti-Aging Teleseminar Teaches People Key Lifestyle Changes To Maximize Longevity
9. SeaShine, LLC Announces the Launch of SeaShine Online Magazine, a Magazine for Women Who Positively Impact their Communities through Transparent Lifestyles
10. Lifestyle factors significantly impact survival of non-Hodgkins lymphoma patients, study finds
11. A more active lifestyle crucial for day-to-day function in COPD patients
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Lifestyle Interventions Needed to Stay Heart-Healthy
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture ... said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... to helping both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented ... for the Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... surgery procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state ... procedures, but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. ... and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas ... , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 VolitionRx ... of Dr. Edward Futcher to the ... effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also appointed ... Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of the ... and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys ... blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: