News / Health

Lifestyle Changes May Ease Heart, Stroke Risk

Lifestyle Changes May Ease Heart, Stroke Riski
X
July 15, 2013 2:01 PM
After someone has a heart attack or stroke, doctors usually recommend changes in lifestyle -- like losing weight, exercising or stopping smoking. A new study looked at people around the world to see if they followed their doctors' advice.
Lifestyle Changes May Ease Heart, Stroke Risk
Carol Pearson
After someone has a heart attack or stroke, doctors usually recommend changes in lifestyle - like losing weight, exercising or stopping smoking.  A new study looked at people around the world to see if they followed their doctors' advice.

We hear the message about how to live a healthy life so much, it's hard to imagine there's anyone who hasn't heard it.

"Heart disease is preventable," said Dr. Patrice Desvigne Nickens, with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health. "Healthy lifestyles can reduce risks."

Dr. Desvigne-Nickens said there are three key elements to living a healthy life. “Don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, exercise,” she stated.

Ignoring even one of these increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, the number one killer around the world.

So Canadian researcher Koon Teo at Ontario's Hamilton General Hospital wanted to see if people changed their lifestyle after one of these events. He followed patients in high, middle and low-income countries.

"People who had heart disease or stroke, about a fifth of them, still continued to smoke and only a third of people had regular physical activities," he explained. "Just about two-fifths of them ate what we determine as a healthy diet."

And it didn't seem to matter where they lived.

"The low-income countries had the worst diet, but if you look at people from high income countries, they did not do that much better," Koon Teo said.

Overall, only about four percent of the patients who participated in the study followed the recommendations.     

"All countries need to look at this finding to try to improve and close the gap about healthy living, particularly in people who had already had the stroke or a heart attack," Koon Teo added.

National and international efforts to get people to monitor their blood pressure and reduce salt consumption are gaining momentum.  Both reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke. In the U.S., Janet Wright, of the Million Hearts campaign, gives this advice.

"Make one small change to your health and do it daily," she asserted. "It could be adding a fruit or a vegetable.  It could be building your way up to 150 minutes of exercise each week."

The Cleveland Clinic has a program for its employees that has helped them lead healthier lives.

"The key is to start. Buy a pedometer [device that measures the number of steps someone takes], record it daily," explained Dr. Michael Roizen, Cleveland Clinc. "Try to walk 10,000 steps a day."

And if you take medication for high blood pressure, take it as prescribed.

"Every day of an uncontrolled blood pressure is damaging the heart, the kidneys, the eyes and all of the blood vessels putting the individual at high risk for heart attack and stroke," Wright stated.

These experts stress that the power to prevent heart attack or stroke is in your hands. Professor Teo's study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More