New Book to Help Hispanics Prevent Heart Disease and Diabetes

09/06/2010

In a recent American Heart Association survey of Hispanic Americans, 45 percent thought they were at ideal heart health. However, 66 percent of those surveyed said a health professional told them they had a risk factor for heart disease and/or needed to make a lifestyle change to improve their heart health. These findings indicate that most people don’t associate important risk factors such as poor diet and physical inactivity with heart disease.

Further survey findings show that whites (83 percent) are more likely than Hispanics (71 percent) to have visited a doctor within the past year. Hispanics are also further behind whites in knowing their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

Heart Disease, Stroke and Diabetes are the leading causes of death among Hispanics.  The majority of Hispanics are not aware that these can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes.

This book can help teach Hispanic families how to identify their risk factors as well as steps to lower their risk. “Tomo contol de su salud” is a step by step guide which is easy to understand and includes many pictures and charts.

Heart disease, diabetes and stroke are the leading causes of death among Hispanics, but you CAN prevent them. One out of four Hispanics die from heart disease or stroke. Hispanic people are twice as likely to develop diabetes compared to non-Hispanics. Hispanics develop heart disease risk factors ten years younger than non-Hispanics. This book will teach you and your family how to prevent a heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Available at www.heart-strong.com for only $10

Also available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com

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Biggest Health Threats Among Hispanics Today

08/21/2010
Heart disease is the #1 killer of Hispanic men and women in the U.S. Hispanics are at a higher risk to develop diabetes which is a strong risk factor for heart problems. Heart disease and diabetes risk factors specific to the Hispanic/Latino population will be discussed and strategies to reduce risk.


FAT BUT FIT: IS THIS ACCEPTABLE FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

08/05/2010

High blood pressure, readings above 140/90 mmHg,  affects one in three Americans and increases risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.  This condition will cost the US over $75 billion in 2010!

A recent study published in the American Heart Journal evaluated data from 35,000 patients, mostly white men, collected over a 20 year period.  The doctors focused on blood pressure, fitness level and body composition. 

The people who were overweight or obese had a higher systolic (top number) blood pressure as was expected. Interestingly, the fitness level of these individuals had little impact on their blood pressure readings.

The study found that only people of normal weight seemed to gain a positive benefit in blood pressure readings depending on fitness levels.  The authors suggest the possibility that fitness alone cannot overcome the negative physical effects of being overweight or obese.

Based on these findings, weight control should be the number one focus of people trying to lower their blood pressure and increasing physical fitness should be a secondary goal.

HOWEVER, this does not mean that regular exercise is discouraged! Research has shown that overweight but fit individuals aren’t any more likely to die from heart disease and stroke than thin, fit people. So, exercise does have an overall benefit for long term health and well being.  This article only focused on blood pressure, which is one risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

The bottom line is the ultimate goal is to maintain a healthy weight and include exercise in your daily routine to obtain the best fitness level possible!!!

To learn more about your risk factors for heart disease and how to lower your risk for heart attacks and strokes and control blood pressure check out our books “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart” on our website www.heart-strong.com


Do you or someone you know snore? That snoring could be Sleep Apnea – and it could kill you!

07/23/2010

 Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have pauses in breathing (actually stop breathing) or shallow breaths while you sleep.  Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. This most often means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep.

When I lecture about sleep apnea and heart disease I often ask people to take a deep breath and hold it for about 20 to 30 seconds (why not try it now)…

Okay after the 30 seconds let the breath out.  That is how long many people with sleep apnea stop breathing while they sleep, often several times every hour.

Take a look at this short PSA on Sleep Apnea:

Untreated sleep apnea can:

  • Increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes!
  • Increase the risk for or worsen heart failure
  • Lead to irregular heartbeats  
  • Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

 Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness/fatigue
  • Loud snoring
  • Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Abrupt awakenings at night sometimes accompanied by shortness of breath
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)

Sleep apnea can be treated once it is diagnosed. By treating your sleep apnea you can actually also protect your heart from future problems.

For more info on sleep apnea visit www.sleepapnea.org

For more info about risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes visit www.heart-strong.com

We are nurses practitioners who have spent years taking care of people with heart disease and our mission now is to help people PREVENT heart attacks and strokes.  We have written two books that may help you learn about your individual risk factors and what you can do to prevent heart problems, strokes and diabetes.  “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” and “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthy Heart – So simple you will not even have to stop and ask for directions” – our books offer realistic steps to help you develop a healthier lifestyle, all of the information in the books comes from the latest medical guidelines available and is written in an easy to follow and understand format.


Women & Heart Disease Across the Lifespan (Part 3): Older Women

07/16/2010

During this final installment of our 3 part series about women and heart disease we will be focusing on heart problems older women are more likely to experience. Some of the things we will discuss are heart failure, diastolic dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, aortic valve disease and sudden cardiac death.

Listen to internet radio with Heartstrong on Blog Talk Radio

Just Another Headache?

07/13/2010


from HealthyWomen’s e-newsletter, HealthyWomen Take 10

When the dull pressure of an occasional headache begins, you might chalk it up to work stress, lack of sleep or personal worries. If the ache is mild or moderate, you may consider it no big deal and simply reach for an over-the-counter drug—aspirin, acetaminophen , ibuprofen or naproxen sodium—instead of calling your health care professional.

Simple tension-type headaches are common, happening to 78 percent of adults, according to the National Headache Foundation. Such aches are dull (not stabbing or pulsating), may contract the muscles in the scalp or neck and generally occur on both sides of the head, without nausea or sensitivity to light and noise.

Yet occasional or episodic headaches may increase in frequency over time. Are you taking headache medication nearly every day, but feeling little relief? Does the aching often start when you wake up or in the evening? Are you having sleep problems?

If that describes you on 15 or more days a month, you have chronic tension-type headache. And you might also be suffering from unrecognized depression .

Although people with chronic tension-type headache often get through their daily activities, studies show they have significantly higher levels of depression , which affects overall functioning and quality of life. That depression might not be displayed as sadness or other classic signs of a depressive disorder, so the problem underlying the headaches may be missed by health care professionals and even patients themselves. What’s more, chronic pain itself can lead to depression .

If you suffer from chronic headaches, get help now to end the pain:

  • Anyone taking headache medication more than two days a week needs to be examined by a medical professional. See your primary care provider or a specialist at a headache clinic (often affiliated with hospitals).
  • Even if you are not depressed, antidepressants are often prescribed for chronic tension-type headache. These drugs provide more pain relief than standard over-the-counter medications.
  • Biofeedback has also been shown to be helpful in ending chronic headache.

For more information on chronic pain, visit: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/chronic-pain

For more information on mental health, visit: www.healthywomen.org/healthcenter/mental-health

For more information on managing stress, visit: www.healthywomen.org/ages-and-stages/healthy-living/managing-stress

© 2010 HealthyWomen All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from HealthyWomen. 1-877-986-9472 (toll-free). On the Web at: www.HealthyWomen.org.


Tai Chi May Improve Your Overall Health

06/25/2010

 

Have you ever tried Tai Chi? If not it may be worth looking into…

The picture above certainly makes Tai Chi look enticing and relaxing.

Tai Chi originated in China and is often referred to as “meditation in motion.”  Tai Chi involves low-impact, slow motion mind-body exercises.  Movements are never forced, usually circular, not stressful on joints making it a great exercise for anyone of any age.

A growing body of research is now demonstrating multiple health benefits when Tai Chi is added to more traditional medical treatments.  Many of these studies were small but provide some interesting preliminary results.

Tai Chi has been suggested to:

  • Decrease arthritis pain
  • Improve quality of life and functional capacity in women with breast cancer or suffering side effects from breast cancer
  • Lower blood pressure, improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improve exercise capacity (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 9/2008)
  • Improve walking distance and quality of life in heart failure patients
  • Lower blood pressure (Preventive Cardiology 9/2008)
  • Improve balance and gait in post stroke patients and people with Parkinson’s disease
  • Improve sleep quality and duration (Sleep 7/2008)
  • Lowers stress levels

You may also find tai chi appealing because it’s inexpensive, requires no special equipment and can be done indoors or out, either alone or in a group.

Although tai chi is generally safe, consider talking with your doctor before starting a new program.

If you are looking for more info about heart health please visit www.heart-strong.com or check out our Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/profile.php?id=1443402011