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| Heart Health and Cholesterol
Americans' heart health is in bad shape, report states
Updated: 2011-12-16 17:13:16 CST Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
Most Americans may be at risk for receiving unhealthy cholesterol test results or other measures of poor heart health, according to a new report published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The American Heart Association judges a person's cardiovascular risk on seven factors: smoking status, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, diet, exercise and weight. The report indicates that 94 percent of Americans have unfavorable health in at least one of these categories. Furthermore, 38 percent have at least three risk factors.
Donald Lloyd-Jones, one of the researchers who worked on the report, said that public health agencies have set a goal of reducing cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent by 2020. The findings of the report suggest that a significant amount of work needs to be done before public health officials can start thinking about attaining this goal.
"If we're to reach this goal, we'll need to engage every segment of the population to focus on improved health behaviors," he said.
He added that children in particular should be targeted, as childhood obesity rates are currently at record highs, and overweight children often carry cardiovascular risk factors with them into adulthood.
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