Healthy Communities- March 14, 2014

Reports and Articles

Fire Up Your Feet
On behalf of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s Fire Up Your Feet program, we’re pleased to launch our 2014 Spring Challenge. Students, families and school staff at Oregon K-8 schools can sign up and track activity to help their school earn a portion of more than $7,500 in awards!

The Challenge takes place May 1-31 in Oregon. Challenge Awards help support walking school bus programs, the purchase of bike racks, safety vests, incentives for Walking Wednesdays, traffic safety countermeasures, health and nutrition programs and much more. Oregon schools that sign up for Fire Up Your Feet will also receive free incentives thanks to the BTA’s Walk+Bike Challenge! Learn more about the Walk+Bike Challenge here.

Please forward this email to school districts, schools, teachers or families, and encourage them to register for Fire Up Your Feet today! Or check our Resources page for how-to videos, newsletter text and letters to help you get the word out among your local partners.

Interested in getting more tips to help your school or community liftoff with Fire Up Your Feet? If so, please sign up for a half-hour webinar on March 26:  Award-Winning Tips for Coordinating the Fire Up Your Feet Spring Activity Challenge.
For additional assistance, please contact

Effects of Physical Activity and Sedentary Time on the Risk of Heart Failure
Background—Although the benefits of physical activity for risk of coronary heart disease are well established, less is known about its effects on heart failure (HF). The risk of prolonged sedentary behavior on HF is unknown.

Methods and Results—The study cohort included 82 695 men aged ≥45 years from the California Men’s Health Study without prevalent HF who were followed up for 10 years. Physical activity, sedentary time, and behavioral covariates were obtained from questionnaires, and clinical covariates were determined from electronic medical records. Incident HF was identified through International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes recorded in electronic records. During a mean follow-up of 7.8 years (646 989 person-years), 3473 men were diagnosed with HF. Controlling for sedentary time, sociodemographics, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, unfavorable lipid levels, body mass index, smoking, and diet, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval [CI]) of HF in the lowest physical activity category compared with those in the highest category was 1.52 (95% CI, 1.39–1.68). Those in the medium physical activity category were also at increased risk (hazard ratio, 1.17 [95% CI, 1.06–1.29]). Controlling for the same covariates and physical activity, the hazard ratio (95% CI) of HF in the highest sedentary category compared with the lowest was 1.34 (95% CI, 1.21–1.48). Medium sedentary time also conveyed risk (hazard ratio, 1.13 [95% CI, 1.04–1.24]). Results showed similar trends across white and Hispanic subgroups, body mass index categories, baseline hypertension status, and prevalent coronary heart disease.

Conclusions—Both physical activity and sedentary time may be appropriate intervention targets for preventing HF.

Gestational diabetes raises atherosclerosis risk in study
Women who had gestational diabetes exhibited greater carotid artery thickness during a 20-year follow-up compared with those who did not have the condition, according to a study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. “This finding indicates that a history of gestational diabetes may influence development of early atherosclerosis before the onset of diabetes and metabolic diseases that previously have been linked to heart disease,” said lead author Erica Gunderson. HealthDay News (3/12)

The protein conundrum
In this new series on different aspects of using food to Health Yourself, Victor Katch examines the conundrum of proteins; their different kinds, where they come from, how much you need, and the problem of eating meat as your major source of protein. As an alternative, he suggests a whole-food, plant-based approach to fulfilling protein needs.

In last month’s column on confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) I brought up the many problems related to decreasing meat quality resulting from industrial farming. Many of the emails I received raised questions regarding the role of meat in our diet, specifically related to protein quality. How could someone get enough protein, regardless of where and how it was grown, if one did not eat meat?

In this month’s column I discuss the many aspects of protein and try to clear up some common misconceptions. In subsequent columns I will discuss fat and carbohydrate nutrients and address the roles these nutrients play in your personal health promotion.

Hypertension Often Untreated in U.S. Hispanic Community
A new study in the American Journal of Hypertension finds that there is too little recognition and control of hypertension among the Hispanic population of the United States.

The new data comes from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latino, a longitudinal study of 16,415 Hispanics/Latinos, ages 18 to 74 years from four communities in the U.S. (Bronx, Chicago, Miami, and San Diego). Measures including hypertension levels and whether patients were on hypertension medications were collected between 2008 and 2011 and then followed up last year.

The study also found that the prevalence of hypertension in the Hispanic community increased with age, and was highest among those with Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican backgrounds.

Read more on heart health.

New Report on US Cancer Care Finds Significant Cost and Quality Challenges
A new report from the American Association of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) finds that several factors including an aging population and poor lifestyle habits in the United States have resulted in an increase in annual cancer cases at the same time many smaller oncology practices are closing because of financial pressures. “We’re facing a collection of challenges, each one of which could keep cancer treatment advances out of reach for some individuals,” said ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, MD.

ASCO’s recommendations include:

  • Support for novel cancer care delivery efforts.
  • Development of new healthcare delivery and payment models to help ensure the viability of small community practices while encouraging high-quality care.
  • Support for quality initiatives that will speed up dissemination of cancer treatment breakthroughs and changes.

Read more on cancer.


One thought on “Healthy Communities- March 14, 2014

  1. Hi there, I liked the walking programs initiative as I believe doctors should prescribe 1hr walking every day instead of so many pills as not only the heart risk of failure will improve but also some other illnesses. Anyway, my question here is about the “Fire Up Your Feet” initiative. Is there any similar thing in the UK?
    Thanks in advance.

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