What Guidelines Mean to You
The new cardiovascular prevention guidelines were written based on years of scientific research to develop the best approaches to preventing heart disease and stroke – the leading causes of death in the world. Here’s what you need to know about the guidelines, released Nov. 12 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology:
IT ALL STARTS WITH AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR RISKS PERFORMED BY YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
- High Blood Pressure
DISCUSSIONS WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR RISKS AND OVERALL HEALTH. THOSE DISCUSSIONS DRIVE PERSONALIZED TREATMENT FOR EACH PATIENT.
The guidelines help healthcare providers provide the best treatment focused on four important areas:
ASSESSMENT OF RISK: (for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.)
- Calculators used to assess your personal risk set stage for discussions with healthcare provider
- Risks for African-Americans specified for the first time
- Stroke risks included for the first time
- Team-based treatment
- Weight-loss strategies based on body mass index
- Diet, exercise still best bets
- Overall health status and risks guide treatment
- “Bad cholesterol number” no longer main factor guiding treatment
- Decisions for drug treatment based on discussions with healthcare provider
- 40 minutes of exercise 3–4 days a week
- Eat lots of fruit, veggies
- Most Americans should reduce sodium intake
Download a What Guidelines Mean to You graphic here. Courtesy of the American Heart Association.
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Methodist Hospitals Heart and Vascular Institute
Northlake Campus: 600 Grant Street, Gary, IN 46402
Southlake Campus: 8701 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410 • 219-738-3472