Healthy Communities- February 14, 2014

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable.

February is American Heart Month
Every journey begins with one step, whether it’s climbing a mountain or preventing heart disease. This American Heart Month, CDC is offering weekly tips for better heart health. Take your first step on the road to a healthy heart with us.

Heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.1

Survey to help identify walking efforts in the US.
EveryBody! Walk Collaborative Partners and America Walks are working to develop a national picture of local community organizations and statewide efforts engaged in actions to increase the number of people regularly walking.

We know that everyday 1000s of organizations and individuals are leading walks, creating pedestrian-friendly laws and places, and telling their neighbors about the multiple benefits of a short walk. However, we want to know who you are, what you have accomplished and, most importantly, how can our national partnership help you. Take the survey!


First stroke guidelines for women created
While stroke occurrences have been on a consistent decline in the United States since the early 1900s, more women are still dying from them than are men. To aid in curbing these deaths, first-of-their-kind stroke-prevention guidelines for women have been released with the help of one University of Alabama at Birmingham expert.
The guidelines report stroke risks unique to women and provide scientifically based recommendations on how best to treat them, including:

  • Women should be screened for high blood pressure before being prescribed birth control pills, which raise blood pressure in some women.
  • Women with a history of high blood pressure before pregnancy should be considered for low-dose aspirin and/or calcium supplement therapy to lower pre-eclampsia risks.
  • Women who have had pre-eclampsia have twice the risk of stroke and a fourfold risk of high blood pressure later in life. Therefore, pre-eclampsia should be recognized as a risk factor well after pregnancy, and other risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol and obesity in these women should be treated early.
  • Pregnant women with moderately high blood pressure (150-159 mm Hg/100-109 mm Hg) may be considered for blood pressure medication, whereas expectant mothers with very high blood pressure (160/110 mm Hg or above) should be treated.

ConnectOregon Review Process Underway — Pedestrian and Bike Projects were the #1 mode application category submitted
The 2013 Oregon Legislature authorized $42 million in lottery-backed bonds for ConnectOregon V, a program that invests in multimodal transportation projects around the state. Modal and Regional Review Committees will review 106 applications submitted this past fall, requesting a total of $128,864,928 for ConnectOregon V funding. See the list of projects proposed:

A thorough application review and recommendations process will occur over the next few months, with a final decision on approved projects set for summer 2014. To ensure a wide and comprehensive discussion of the projects to recommend to the Oregon Transportation Commission, ConnectOregon V applications will be reviewed by modal committees, regional committees and a Final Review Committee, which will include representatives from both modal and regional committees.

Modal committees have received their applications and are currently evaluating them. For a listing of modal committee meeting times and locations, please visit the website. There you can also find information about applications under consideration, amounts requested, program information and more.

Cancer Awareness Quiz
It’s World Cancer Day and what better time to find out how much you know about cancer prevention. Take our quiz and find out how you compare to others.

Reports and Articles

Navajo Nation votes for higher tax on snack foods
Food Safety News: February 3, 2014
The Navajo Nation’s tribal council has voted to increase the tax on snack foods to 7%, up from 5%, and eliminate taxes on healthier foods in an effort to curb obesity in the community. The extra funds generated by the tax would go toward developing recreational areas such as bike trails, wellness centers and basketball courts. The tax needs approval from the Navajo Nation’s president and tax commission before it can be implemented.
Navajo Council approves junk food tax On the final day of the winter session the Navajo Nation Council voted 12-7 to enact the Healthy Diné Nation Act. The legislation imposes a two percent sales tax, in addition to the Navajo Nation’s current five-percent sales tax, on “junk food” sold within the Navajo Nation.

Cancer Facts & Figures 2014
The American Cancer Society released their Cancer Facts & Figures for 2014.
This annual report provides the estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in 2014, as well as current cancer incidence, mortality, and survival statistics and information on cancer symptoms, risk factors, early detection, and treatment. In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.
The report includes lots of information and data, including:

  • 1930 – 2010 death rates for top cancers in men and women
  • State estimates for new cancers and deaths in 2014
  • Tobacco, physical activity, nutrition and environmental cancer risk
  • Cancer disparities


Excess Sugar May Double Heart Disease Risk, Study Find
High sugar consumption may double the chance of dying from heart disease, according to a study that adds to evidence that high levels of the sweetener in processed foods and drink is bad for a person’s health.

People whose sugar intake is about a quarter or more of their total daily calories had twice the risk of dying from heart disease than those who whose intake was 7 percent, according to the research today in JAMA Internal Medicine. For those whose intake of added sugar was about 19 percent, their risk of dying from heart disease was about 38 percent higher.

Progress of Health Plans Toward Meeting the Million Hearts Clinical Target for High Blood Pressure Control — United States, 2010–2012
MMWR: Weekly February 14, 2014
High blood pressure is a major cardiovascular disease risk factor and contributed to >362,895 deaths in the United States during 2010 (1). Approximately 67 million persons in the United States have high blood pressure, and only half of those have their condition under control (2). An estimated 46,000 deaths could be avoided annually if 70% of patients with high blood pressure were treated according to published guidelines (3,4). To assess blood pressure control among persons with health insurance, CDC and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) examined data in the 2010–2012 Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). In 2012, approximately 113 million adults aged 18–85 years were covered by health plans measured by HEDIS. The HEDIS controlling blood pressure (CBP) performance measure is the proportion of enrollees with a diagnosis of high blood pressure confirmed in their medical record whose blood pressure is controlled. Overall, only 64% of enrollees with diagnosed high blood pressure in HEDIS-reporting plans had documentation that their blood pressure was controlled. Although these findings signal that additional work is needed to meet the 70% target, modest improvements since 2010, coupled with focused efforts, might make it achievable.

Study: One-third of Adults with Chronic Diseases Have Trouble Paying for Both Food and Medicine
One in three U.S. adults living with chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure have difficulty troubling both food and their needed medications—and sometimes both—according to a new study in The American Journal of Medicine. Using data collected by the 2011 National Health Interview Survey, which covered almost 10,000 people ages 20 and older, researchers determined that people who had difficult affording food were also four times more likely to skip medications because of their cost. They also found that 23 percent took their medication less often than prescribed because of the cost, 19 percent reported difficulty affording food and 11 percent said they were having trouble paying for both food and medications. “This leads to an obvious tension between ‘milk’ or ‘med,'” said Niteesh Choudhry, MD, who worked on the study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “If you have a fixed income, should you treat or should you eat?” The researchers recommend that patients speak to their doctors about difficulties affording medications and look food assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as food banks, for help with food. Read more on access to health care.

Exercise Can Help Relieve Stress of Work/Home Conflict
Increased exercise can help relieve stress over the conflict between balancing work and family life, according to a new study in the journal Human Resource Management. Utilizing a survey of 476 working adults who were asked about their exercise behavior and their confidence in handling work-family conflicts, researchers determined that people who engaged in regular exercise were also more confident in both their home and work environments. “If, for example, you go for a two-mile jog or walk 10 flights of steps at work and feel good about yourself for doing that, it will translate and carry over into other areas of life,” said study author Russell Clayton, an assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University in Florida. “We found that [participants] who exercised felt good about themselves, that they felt that they could accomplish tough tasks, and that carried over into work and family life,” Clayton added. Read more on physical activity.

New study uses heart age calculator to motivate people to adopt healthier lifestyles
MNT: February 7, 2014
New research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, has shown that using Heart Age to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk promotes behavioural changes that result in a decrease in CVD risk.

Unlike traditional CVD risk scores that estimate percentage risk over ten years, Heart Age expresses an individual’s risk score as their estimated Heart Age to make it more personally relevant to the individual. A research trial conducted amongst 3,153 patients in Spain showed significant improvements in risk scores amongst patients who were told their Heart Age.

Whole diet approach to lower cardiovascular risk has more evidence than low-fat diets
ScienceDaily: February 6, 2014
A study reveals that a whole diet approach, which focuses on increased intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, has more evidence for reducing cardiovascular risk than strategies that focus exclusively on reduced dietary fat. This new study explains that while strictly low-fat diets have the ability to lower cholesterol, they are not as conclusive in reducing cardiac deaths.

Exercise provides hope for kidney disease patients and their vulnerable hearts
ScienceDaily: February 10, 2014
A doctor has become the first renal physician in the England to be awarded the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinician Scientist Award. The fellowship, worth more than £1 million, will fund a five-year study into the effects of exercise on heart disease in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis

General Mills Files Patent to Cut Salt and Fat in Dough
General Mills has filed a patent for salt-flavored fat particles that enable cost-effective sodium reduction and fat replacement in baked dough products. Growing demand from consumers, regulators, and food companies to reduce sodium content in food prompted the development, the company said in its international patent filing. The new technology involves fat particles that incorporate salt flavoring and can be used in any baked dough product. The salt in the new product, which could be used in combination with other salt reduction methods, is distributed throughout the product when the fat particles melt during baking. The product may allow overall salt flavoring to be reduced by about half. –Bakery and Snacks

How Restaurants Can Reduce Salt in Your Food
In this article, CDC Director Tom Frieden highlights a recently published CDC report that offers strategies to reduce sodium in restaurant food, titled “From Menu to Mouth: Opportunities for Sodium Reduction in Restaurants.” Recommendations to restaurants include providing nutritional information at the point of purchase, creating group purchasing organizations to save on lower sodium ingredients in bulk, and making dietitians available through health departments to assist restaurants with nutrition support. – CNN

Tracking Fat, Salt, and Sugar: Informed Dining Program Rolls Out at Canadian Restaurants
Canadians in several provinces may soon be able to get information on how much sodium, fat, and sugar is in the food they order at major restaurants, including McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, and Dairy Queen. The voluntary Informed Dining program, which so far 17 companies are implementing in outlets across the country, lists the calorie count and up to 13 core nutrients, including sodium, for each menu item. Restaurants can put the nutritional information in a standard format on the menu, on a website, or in a brochure. Research carried out in 2013 showed that 92% of Canadian adults reported believing that it is important to know the nutrition breakdown of the foods they eat; 90% reported feeling like they might be missing pertinent information if restaurants only listed calories. – CTV News

Salt Reduction Plan “Hampered” by Food Service Sector
The U.K. Department of Health has criticized the food service industry for failing to respond to its calls for voluntary action to reduce sodium levels. The Department plans to launch a list of “essential targets” for sodium reduction that all food service companies would be expected to reach, but the plan has been hindered by a lack of response from these companies, especially caterers. – The Grocer

Best Ways to Cut Hypertension Differ for Westerners, East Asians
Lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone of hypertension prevention, but not all changes work for all populations, suggests a new review published in the journal Hypertension. Because of differences in genes, diet, and lifestyle, the way that blood pressure acts as a contributing factor in stroke risk is different for Westerners and East Asians, according to researcher Yoshihiro Kokubo. Due to certain factors particular to East Asian lifestyles, including a high consumption of salty foods and a genetically higher salt sensitivity, Kokubo said that this population needs to have more counseling about salt consumption. Salt intake by the Northern Japanese is among the highest in East Asia due to high consumption of pickled vegetables, soy sauce, and miso soup, so special approaches should be tailored to this population. – Medscape

How to Choose Healthy, Tasty Stocks and Broths
Because making stocks or broths for soups from scratch can be time consuming, many people opt for using packaged versions. This article offers suggestions on choosing packaged products that have relatively low levels of sodium and recommends that every consumer be “an avid label reader.” The article also quantifies sodium language used on packaging—including reduced/less sodium, light/lower sodium, low sodium, and very low sodium—and recommends several healthy broth and stock products that are still tasty. – Detroit Free Press


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