New CPR Guidelines Released

10/18/2010

The American Heart Association announces its new Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) guidelines today. Released only once every five years, these guidelines — driven by the latest in scientific research — are critical to the treatment of hundreds of thousands of cardiac arrest victims every year. The guidelines are the basis for CPR training for organizations around the globe.  

For more than 40 years, the American Heart Association has been setting the guidelines for worldwide CPR training. Today’s updated guidelines release focuses on getting more people to take action and save lives.

The facts show the importance of a ready public, trained to administer CPR:

  • Last year alone, the American Heart Association trained more than 13 million people in CPR worldwide.
  • Less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive, but immediate, effective CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
  • Research shows that good chest compressions can help save more lives — that’s why they are now the first step in the CPR. Compressions, Airway and Breathing (C-A-B) is our new recommendation.
  • CPR resources are available at AHA website http://www.heart.org/cpr.

The release of these guidelines is a great opportunity to connect with readers of all CPR skill levels. For the novice, it could inspire them to learn the technique for the first time, take a refresher course or have the confidence to do step in and do something in an emergency. For the healthcare professional, it is an opportunity to delve into the science behind these new guidelines.

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Join Americans across the country in National Start! Walking Day

04/07/2010

Laila Ali, world champion athlete and former professional boxer, is encouraging people to walk 30 minutes today as part of National Start! Walking Day.

From coast to coast, Americans will lace up their sneakers and take steps — literally — to increase physical activity when they participate in today’s events.

            National Start! Walking Day, in its fourth year — including more than 3.2 million people representing about 1,300 companies — is sponsored by the American Heart Association as part of its Start! initiative.  Start! champions walking because it has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.  The association conducts the National Start! Walking Day primarily in the workplace because jobs are becoming increasingly sedentary and Americans are working 164 more hours per year than 20 years ago.

 Ali is a natural choice of spokesperson for the American Heart Association. “I’ve always been interested in health and wellness, and I am honored to work with the American Heart Association, an organization dedicated to preventing heart disease,” said Ali, whose family has a history of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. “As a working mother, I have to fit my workouts in when I can.”

In January, the American Heart Association identified physical activity as one of seven key factors to achieve ideal cardiovascular health as part of its new 2020 goal to improve cardiovascular health and reduce deaths.

According to a recent American Heart Association study, only 15 percent of American adults achieve the association’s recommended levels of moderate aerobic exercise, 30 minutes a day for five days a week.

            “The importance of regular physical activity cannot be overstated,” said Clyde Yancy, M.D., president of the American Heart Association.  “Our latest research demonstrates that 70 percent of American adults report being told by a healthcare professional to make a lifestyle change and 33 percent of those were told to exercise more. Simply put, we all need to get up and do more.”

The American Heart Association recommends that all adults avoid inactivity. Walking vigorously for as little as 30 minutes, preferably most days of the week, can promote weight loss, decrease the risk of coronary heart disease and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the association said. Additional benefits occur as the amount and intensity of physical activity increases. Some adults also may gain up to two hours of life expectancy for each hour of regular, vigorous physical activity, such as very brisk walking.

The American Heart Association’s robust Web site — startwalkingnow.org — includes strategies to help people get started and stay on a physical activity regimen. They include:

  • Local walking paths. To find one near you, visit startwalkingnow.org.
  • Three customized walking programs (beginner, intermediate and advanced)
  • Online tracking tools to document calories consumed, steps taken and routes walked
  • Sole mates social networking capabilities to find and support like-minded walkers
  • Downloadable seasonal walking guides with tips to maintain a routine regardless of weather
  • Walking videos, produced in collaboration with ExerciseTV, that make an at-home workout easier with tips and motivation
  • Social media daily walking guide with inspirational messages, heart-health tips of the day, video content from Exercise TV, community chat capability and a private journal

 About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, we’re the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases — America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers — we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org


National START Walking Day April 7th

03/28/2010

 

Get Up and Move

These days, adults like you are spending more time at work than ever before. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we’re becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease!

But take heart! It’s a problem you can help fix by convincing your company to take part in National Start! Walking Day.

On this day, employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the Start! movement and to give your coworkers a friendly push toward a healthier life.

Get the Ball Rolling!

It’s pretty simple to get your company to participate in National Start! Walking Day. Start by having your HR representative or Worksite Wellness coordinator fill out the registration form to download a National Start! Walking Day toolkit for your company. It includes posters and signs you can use to set up walking paths around the office.

Visit http://startwalkingnow.org/about_start_walking_day.jsp For more information.


Play Online Games for Free and Support the American Heart Association

01/14/2010

 

I just came across this site today and wanted to share it to help support a great cause – The American Heart Association.

You play—everyone wins
Are you hooked on computer games? Play at Games That Give and you’ll raise money for the American Heart Association while you enjoy Solitaire, Sudoku and many more. The more you play, the more revenue Games That Give will donate.


Vote with Your Heart – Support the Red Dress Campaign

01/12/2010

Campbell’s asked people across America to take inspiration from a real female heart-health hero who motivates them and share their story and their red dress design. In February, American Heart Month, the winning designer and their heart-health hero will travel to New York City to walk the red carpet at the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards with fashion expert Tim Gunn and model the winning dress.

Read the finalist’s stories and learn about the heart-health hero who inspired them. Then view their designs and vote for your favorite story and dress. For each vote, Campbell’s is donating $1 up to $625,000 to the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women® movement. Voting ends January 28, but you can continue to click to donate through March 31, 2010. 

Click here to vote: http://www.campbellsaddressyourheart.com/


Survey shows Americans want to improve health but easily find excuses

01/08/2010

Although 58 percent of American adults have resolved to make improvements in their health this year, more than half say they often find reasons not to exercise, according to an American Heart Association survey. Excuses range from too much stress at work to having nothing to wear to simple procrastination.

The American Heart Association’s Start! initiative is introducing the Start! Daily Walking Guide, a FREE social media application that can get more Americans active and help them keep their health and physical activity resolutions. Nearly half of all Americans use online tools to track their health.

“The Start! Daily Walking Guide is the ideal tool to keep us committed to our New Year’s resolutions,” said Clyde Yancy, M.D., president of the American Heart Association. “We spend 164 more hours per year at work than we did 20 years ago, and for many Americans that means lots of time on computers. This application allows you to keep track of your physical activity, see progress, find accountability and get great encouragement.”

The Start! Daily Walking Guide can be downloaded and embedded into a variety of sites including Facebook, Windows Live and iGoogle. Users get started with a quiz that generates 12 weeks worth of customized walking plans, a private journal section that lets users record their walks and reference archived exercises, and keep motivated with daily inspirational messages and heart-health tips.

Members can also chat with virtual “sole-mates” via the Start! Connections function. A previous Start! study revealed that American adults are 76 percent more likely to take a walk if another person is counting on them.

Heart disease and stroke are America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, despite being largely preventable though a healthy lifestyle. Cardiovascular disease claims nearly 865,000 lives a year and physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Physically active people reduce their cardiovascular disease risk by 30 percent. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, like brisk walking, each week. Download the Start! Daily Walking Guide at www.startwalkingnow.org.


50-year-old cholesterol medication makes a comeback?

12/07/2009

 A recent cholesterol trial called ARBITER 6-HALTS was discussed at the American Heart Association national meeting and published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month. Three hundred and sixty three men and women with known heart disease or vascular disease were enrolled in this study. All of the patients LDL (bad) cholesterol levels were < 100 mg/dl (goal LDL in this high risk group is < 70) so the LDL was good but could be better. Their HDL (good) cholesterol levels were acceptable but a little low (< 50 mg/dl). When HDL levels are low patients are not receiving adequate protection against heart disease and stroke. Half of the patients received treatment with ezetimibe (Zetia) in addition to a statin treatment to further lower LDL levels. The remaining patients received extended-release niacin in addition to a statin to improve HDL levels. So this study set out to see which treatment would be more beneficial – further lowering of LDL (bad) cholesterol or raising HDL (good) cholesterol in a high-risk group of patients.

After 14 months of treatment cholesterol results improved in both patients receiving ezetimibe and patients receiving niacin. The interesting finding was the niacin patients had a reversal of plaque inside the blood vessels in the neck; this was measured by a test called carotid IMT. The patients in the ezetimibe (Zetia) group surprisingly did not experience the same benefit. This was a small study but clearly suggests that niacin, which is a 50-year-old medication, may be more beneficial than some of the newer medications like ezetimibe. Remember all of these patients were also receiving a statin medication for cholesterol management. Unfortunately many patients are unable to tolerate high doses of niacin due to the side effects. Niacin is an inexpensive medication and available over the counter but we recommend you talk with your health care provider before starting niacin treatment.

For more heart healthy info visit www.heart-strong.com