Adults Can Drop Bad Habits Now, Prevent Heart Disease Later

Adults Can Drop Bad Habits Now, Prevent Heart Disease Later

Some people balk at the suggestion of changing their lifestyles as they approach middle age. After all, the argument goes, if they’ve been sedentary and overweight for years, the damage to their bodies is probably done and it’s too late to make up for decades of unhealthy choices. But a new Northwestern Medicine study by scientists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shows that attitude is a myth — and a potentially dangerous one — especially when it comes to heart disease. It turns out that when adults in their 30s and 40s give up unhealthy habits and begin to live a healthier lifestyle they not only can reduce their risk of heart attack, but the Northwestern Medicine research shows they can control and potentially even reverse the natural progression of coronary artery disease. In their paper, recently published in the journal Circulation, the scientists note that the …

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Lose That Belly Fat

Lose That Belly Fat

Call it what you will – a beer belly, love handles or simply a chubby tummy – extra weight around the middle is a common problem. Are you hoping you can get rid of your “spare tire” before swimsuit season arrives? While vanity can be great motivation, here’s a far more pressing reason to take steps now to lose that excess abdominal fat – your health. Dangers From too Much fat Around Your Waist As your waistline expands, your health risks soar, too. In recent years, scientists have discovered why. It turns out that abdominal fat, technically known as visceral fat, is far more damaging to wellness than subcutaneous fat, the kind right under the skin that you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat forms deep within the abdominal cavity, creating pads of fat in the spaces between abdominal organs and causing your waist to expand. Research has shown …

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Study Shows There’s a Bigger Cause for Obesity Than Diet

Bigger Cause for Obesity than Diet

There’s no doubt the U.S. has a serious obesity epidemic and statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show just how enormous – and costly – this preventable health problem is. About 36% of adult Americans are now obese, placing them at high risk of some of the leading causes of preventable death including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. This translates into a heavy economic burden for both individuals and their employers. Government figures reveal obese workers’ health woes cost American companies $225.8 billion per year due to productivity losses. In all, each obese employee costs his or her employer $460 to $2,500 in obesity-related medical expenses and sick days per year. Despite the popularity of special diets touted for weight control, why are too many Americans heavier instead of slimmer and trimmer? New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine could …

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Still Smoking? Surprising Triggers That Keep You Hooked

Still Smoking? Surprising Triggers That Keep You Hooked

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health. In fact, it is the number one cause of stroke and heart disease in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 90% of lung cancers and around 80% of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are caused by smoking, too. In all, smoking takes the lives of almost 480,000 Americans each year. If you are still smoking, you aren’t alone. Despite all the bad news about cigarettes, CDC statistics show over 42 million adults in the U.S. are currently smokers – although 70% want to quit. The main reason it’s so hard to give up cigarettes is nicotine, which the American Cancer Society (ACS) reports is as addictive as cocaine or heroin. Nicotine patches and gum can help wean smokers off their addiction to nicotine, but it usually takes more than nicotine replacement to …

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IT’s Role In Improving The Health Of Consumers

IT in Healthcare

Population Health Management programs in various forms have been around for years. Health Systems, and employers are using technology-based services to understand populations, identify individual health risks, engage with patients and deliver care where and when needed. The emergence of electronic health records (EHR) and the ability for these health records to electronically flow between healthcare entities marked the beginning of Population Health Management in the U.S. Allowing health entities to share information and collaborate for the good of the patient marked the start of managing knowledge in healthcare. Engaging with patients is an important aspect of managing a population’s health. Patients who are involved in their healthcare decisions tend to be healthier and have better outcomes. Patient Engagement in Healthcare Educating patients, connecting them to hospital services and helping them participate in their own healthcare is the primary goal of patient engagement. A good engagement strategy will help: 1. …

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