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Heart disease prevention: A good investment for individuals, communities

From the 25 July 2011 Science Daily article

ScienceDaily (July 25, 2011) — Preventing heart disease before it starts is a good long-term investment in the nation’s health, according to a new policy statement from the American Heart Association.
The policy statement, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, summarizes years of research on the value of investing in prevention, particularly through community-based changes to make it easier to live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Every dollar spent on building trails for walking or biking saves $3 in medical costs.
  • Companies that invest in workers’ health with comprehensive worksite wellness programs and health work environments have less absenteeism, greater productivity and lower healthcare costs.
  • Initiating a nationwide plan to drastically cut the amount of salt in the food supply to support an average intake of 1500 mg per day may reduce high blood pressure in the country by 25 percent, saving $26 billion in healthcare costs annually.

As a call to action, the statement puts an equal amount of responsibility on individuals and on society — specifically federal, state and local policy-makers.
“People often don’t realize the power to stay healthy is in their own hands,” said William S. Weintraub, M.D., lead author of the statement and the John H. Ammon chair of cardiology and cardiology section chief at Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Del. “But it’s not something many individuals or families can do alone. It takes fundamental changes from society as a whole.”
It’s more difficult to make healthy choices in some neighborhoods because it’s hard to find a safe place to bike or a nearby store with fresh vegetables at an affordable price, he said.

Read the rest of this article

July 26, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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