What do the new heart disease prevention guidelines mean?
The public health impact of cardiovascular disease motivated the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology to release updated guidelines for the prevention of heart disease and stroke. The goal is to help Americans reduce risk and live longer healthier lives. The guidelines result from an extensive review of hundreds of clinical research studies by experts in the field of cardiology and public health sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Check out what the new guidelines could mean for you in Eliz’s articles on Answers.com
2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines For Cholesterol And Statins
The new cholesterol guidelines encourage doctors to identify patients who are most likely to have a heart attack or stroke and provide effective treatment early. Rather than focusing on the results of one screening for cholesterol levels, other factors should now be considered in the decision to prescribe statins. See: 2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines: Cholesterol And Statins
2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines For Obesity
Obesity should now be treated as a disease, not simply a lifestyle issue. The new guidelines provide a first-ever road map to help patients lose weight and lower their risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In the past, overweight people needed two additional risk factors to be considered for treatment. Under the new guidelines, only one additional risk factor is needed. Obesity is determined using the Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist measurement. A BMI of 30 or higher, or a waist circumference greater than 40 inches for a man or 35 inches for a woman, is considered obese. See: 2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines: Obesity
2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines For Risk Assessment
In the past one formula was used to determine the 10 year risk of developing arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), the hardening of the arteries type of heart disease. The new formula incorporates gender and ethnicity allowing for the first time ever specific assessments for women and ethnic groups such as African Americans. African Americans are a great risk of heart attack and stroke and should receive treatment earlier than the older model indicated. See: 2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines: Assessment
2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines For Lifestyle Changes
The new guidelines focus on long-term healthy habits for people who need to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Increasing physical activity and healthy food choices is key, but people shouldn’t worry about the occasional treat. Having a piece of cake or a bowl of ice cream occasionally isn’t an issue when you eat a heart healthy diet most of the time. See: 2013 Cardiovascular Prevention Guidelines: Lifestyle Management
Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of cardiovascular disease and whether the changes in prevention guidelines indicate a change in your treatment.
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