|National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Adds New Resources
on Heart Health
A recent national survey shows that only 3 percent of U.S. adults practice all
of the “big four” habits to help prevent heart disease: eating a healthy diet,
getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes
of Health has combined the latest information and guidance on all of the factors
that increase risk for heart disease — or may contribute to worsening heart
disease — into two new heart health guidebooks for men and women.
“In the United States, heart disease is the number one killer of both women
and men,” says NHLBI Director Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D. “But the good news is
that there are many things individuals can do to reduce their risks of heart
“Your Guide to a Healthy Heart” includes a detailed action
plan for heart health. “Your Guide to Living Well With Heart Disease,” is
designed to help those with heart disease make decisions to protect and improve
their heart health. Both guides provide specific information on lifestyle changes
and treatments that can lessen a person’s chances of having a heart attack — either
a first attack or a repeat one.
Heart disease prevention advice in “Your Guide to a Healthy Heart” includes
tips on choosing health foods, starting and sticking to an exercise program,
and breaking the smoking habit. Features include how to eat healthy while dining
out, reading food labels and making substitutions for limiting saturated fat,
trans fat and cholesterol, basics on the DASH eating plan, and a 12-week walking
In addition to the guidebooks, two fact sheets titled “In Brief: Your Guide
to a Healthy Heart” and “In Brief: Your Guide to Living Well with Heart Disease” highlight
the basics for heart health. There are many things men and women can do to
reduce their risk for heart disease.
- Don’t smoke, and if you do, quit. People who smoke are up to six
times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers.
- Aim for a healthy weight. It’s important for a long, vigorous life.
Overweight and obesity cause many preventable deaths.
- Get moving. Make a commitment to be more physically active. Aim
for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days
of the week.
- Eat for heart health. Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat,
and cholesterol. Be sure to include whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
- Know your numbers. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure,
cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, triglycerides), and blood glucose. Work with
your doctor to improve any numbers that are not normal.
The guides are available for ordering through the NHLBI Information Center,
(301) 301-592-8573 or 240-629-3255 (TTY) or online at http://emall.nhlbihin.net/.
Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the
causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung,
and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national
health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children,
and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research
Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical
research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common
and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.