Novant Health UVA Health System joins campaign to save 10,000 hearts
Manassas, Va., – In the U.S., 3 out of 4 adults are living with a heart age older than their actual age.1 To combat these prematurely aging hearts, Novant Health UVA Health System is joining the Novant Health 10,000 Healthy Hearts Challenge aimed at educating people in the region about their heart health by 2018.
Heart age, the calculated age of an individual’s cardiovascular system, is based on a number of risk factors. Diet and lifestyle changes can dramatically lower the heart’s age and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. In fact, more than 3 in 4 heart attacks and strokes could be avoided or delayed if people manage or control their cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure, diet, exercise and smoking habits.2
“We are committed to raising awareness of this important issue and promoting the message that taking care of your heart and living a long, healthy life go hand in hand,” said Dr. Ara Maranian, Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Cardiology. “Our campaign for more healthy hearts is part of our larger mission to improve the health of our communities, one person at a time.”
Novant Health is encouraging the community to take the 10,000 Healthy Hearts Challenge by completing the online heart disease risk assessment that analyzes cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes and body mass index, and then tagging five friends on social media using #NHHealthyHearts to spread the word. Once the challenge is accepted, individuals will continue to receive helpful wellness tips, recipe ideas and stress management reminders to manage their heart health.
“Each day, we help patients determine and manage health risk factors to keep their hearts healthy,” said Dr. Maranian. “While some risks are hereditary, your heart age health risk may be reversible with lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, smoking cessation, exercise, healthy weight and management of blood pressure and cholesterol. “
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 47-year-old woman who smokes and has a systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 142 mm Hg may have a heart age of 67. However, studies have shown that lifestyle changes can positively impact heart age. Men who quit smoking and reduce systolic blood pressure to 120 mm Hg may be able to lower their predicted heart age by 19 years, and women may be able to lower theirs by 23 years.2
“Knowing the factors that increase your heart age reinforces the importance of healthier living and caring for your heart,” said Dr. Maranian. “The most effective plan of action is to regularly discuss heart health with your physician, and monitor critical health indicators like blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. Should a heart event occur, Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center is equipped with all the latest diagnostic equipment, tests, treatments and rehabilitation programs to get our patients back on their feet.”
Heart and vascular health is a top priority and Novant Health UVA Health System is here to help. From working with patients to determine heart disease risk factors to managing and treating them, we have the heart experts and primary care providers you can rely on to keep your heart healthy for life.
Novant Health UVA Health System recommends three key steps to understand and practice good heart health, including:
1. Understand why heart health matters and that cardiovascular disease, in many instances, can be prevented.
2. Be aware of the conditions and risk factors that could affect your heart. Beyond age and family history, some risk factors may be managed such as high blood pressure, diabetes, inactive lifestyle, unhealthy diet, obesity, stress, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.
3. Take action to protect your heart. In addition to lowering blood pressure and managing cholesterol, simple steps may improve heart health: get some rest, don’t stress, stop smoking and make time for exercise – because even just 30 minutes a day, five days a week can make a difference. The American Heart Association offers additional options for physical activity.