New study on US health an urgent call to action

(Medical Xpress)—The American Heart Association today says a new study, "The State of U.S. Health, 1990-2010: Burdens of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors" released in The Journal of the American Medical Association is a wake-up call for our nation.

The study reinforces that Americans are living longer but not necessarily healthier. It also stressed that while the United States continues to spend more on health care, our are persistently behind other countries. The researchers pointed to and inadequate physical activity that leads to obesity and other as two key reasons why Americans are lagging globally.

"How much clearer does the evidence need to be?  As a nation, we need healthier behavior, and we need to make it possible for all Americans to get there," said American Heart Association President Mariel Jessup, M.D.  "We have it within our power to create a world that's free of heart disease and stroke.  But everyone has a role and responsibility to make this happen – policymakers, and the public."

The American Heart Association has established a 2020 impact goal that seeks to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.  To achieve this goal, the association is focused on strategies from an individual to a global level. For example, through the association's Life's Simple Seven program individuals can find the tools they need to get their health factors under control, to increase exercise levels and adopt a better diet - improving their and greatly reducing the chance that they will suffer a heart attack or stroke. The association is also involved in the Million Hearts federal initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. As a stakeholder in global health, the association is following up on the 2011 United Nations Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) to ensure these diseases remain central to the strategic plans of world governments and support the World Health Assembly's goal of reducing NCD-related deaths 25 percent by 2025.

"Obesity is not only a problem for our nation, it's a global epidemic," says American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown.  "We must start with our children – the future of this country.

That's why the association has undertaken a first of its kind effort – Voices for Healthy Kids – in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to reverse childhood obesity in the U.S."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Most seniors eligible for statin Rx under new guidelines

Nov 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Most older Americans qualify for treatment with statins under new guidelines for the treatment of blood cholesterol released late last year by the American College of Cardiology and the American ...

Asymptomatic atherosclerosis linked to cognitive impairment

Nov 25, 2014

In a study of nearly 2,000 adults, researchers found that a buildup of plaque in the body's major arteries was associated with mild cognitive impairment. Results of the study conducted at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.