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Healthier Hearts by 2020

February 3, 2010 | by Marla Paul

CHICAGO -- Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D, the chair of preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has a lofty goal for the new decade. He wants to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and slash deaths from heart diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

The lead author of a new article in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Lloyd-Jones led the effort that defined the new concept of cardiovascular health for the association and set these goals for the next decade.

The article describes the seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors that boost heart health and help people live better, longer lives: regular physical activity, not smoking, having a healthy weight and optimal levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose.

"Each of these factors individually should not be a surprise," said Lloyd-Jones, who also is an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School. "But the package is an incredibly powerful tool for health promotion. If we reach people in middle age and even younger with this message, we could improve Americans' health and quality of life for decades to come."

The American Heart Association has developed a new online resource to help people improve their heart health at http://www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck.

For more information on Lloyd-Jones' paper visit: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/americanheart/41977/

Topics: Research