Thursday, January 27, 2011

February is American Heart Month: Make Prevention a Priority

** Note, new 2011 heart disease guidelines for women have been released since this blog posted. The new guidelines include:
  • Keeping cholesterol level at 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less
  • Keeping blood pressure at 120/80 mm Hg
  • Having a fasting blood glucose under 100 mg/dL
  • Recognition that diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis increase heart disease risk in women
For a summary of the 2011 new heart disease guidelines for women, click here.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2009 alone, about 785,000 Americans had a coronary attack. But--there is good news. We can reduce the chance of developing coronary heart disease by making prevention a priority. It’s time!

February is American Heart Month, a national campaign to share information about heart disease and to raise awareness. Do you know the signs? A heart attack may feel sharp and sudden, but many start slowly. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute posted their “Act in Time to Heart Attack Signs” video to help you identify the warning signs.

Whether or not you or a loved one have suffered with heart disease, prevention is a year-round campaign. Download your free ACHS Wellness Guide for more heart health and how-to information!

Hawthorn Crataegus laevigata has traditionally been used to support healthy cardiovascular function. Studies show hawthorn acts on the myocardium. It increases the force of contraction and lengthens the refractory period, increasing coronary blood flow and cardiac output, and reducing oxygen consumption.[1] For more information about the active constituents and medicinal uses of hawthorn, download our hawthorn monograph HERE.

1. Chang Q, Zuo Z, Harrison F, Chow MS. (2002) Hawthorn. J Clin Pharmacol, 42:605-12.
2. Pittler MH, Schmidt K, Ernst E. (2003). Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure: meta-analysis of randomized trials. Am J Med, 114:665-74.
3. Schwinger RH, Pietsch M, Frank K, Brixius K. (2000). Crataegus special extract WS 1442 increases force of contraction in human myocardium cAMPindependently. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol, 35:700-7.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. You should always consult with your primary care physician, naturopathic doctor, or Registered Herbalist before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

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