Wednesday, January 20, 2010

AHA Announces 2020 Goal & Defines "Ideal Cardiovascular Health"

For the first time, the American Heart Association has defined "ideal cardiovascular health," identifying seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors that support heart health. The association created the definition as part of its effort to achieve its new national goal:

By 2020, improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while
reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.
The novel focus of the new goal will be preventing heart disease and stroke, most notably by helping people identify and adopt healthier lifestyle choices. This will be the first time the American Heart Association has adopted better health as a principal goal.

In a recent survey of adult Americans, the association found 39 percent said they thought they had ideal heart health; however, 54 percent of those (and 70 percent of all respondents) said a health professional had 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 most people don't associate important risk factors, such as poor diet and physical inactivity, with cardiovascular disease.

Thanks to the science and research volunteers of the American Heart Association, we have created a simple way for you to know where you stand in on the road to good health through seven steps all of us need to live healthy. To find out where you stand with the simple seven, just take the My Life Check assessment. In a few minutes, you will know how you’re doing with each one of life’s simple seven; you will also get your own personal heart score and life plan. Your results will include seven recommended areas of focus and an action plan that is customized to your lifestyle and health outlook. Your last step is a promise: a resolution to make healthy positive changes step-by-step, for a long, healthy future.

Remember, you can stop heart disease before it even starts. Start small. And keep it simple. Make one change today and then you’re ready to make another. Before you know it you’ve stopped making poor choices, and started making life choices!

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