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Coaches Corner: The Impact of Lifestyle Changes

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An important factor in motivating behavioral change is the belief that the changes being made will lead to a positive outcome.  A new study from the Centers for Disease Control adds to the growing body of evidence that proves making certain lifestyle changes could have a powerfully positive impact on cardiovascular risk.  Each year, in the US, 800,000 people die from cardiovascular disease, representing nearly one in 3 deaths.  At least 200,000 of these could have been prevented through changes in health habits such as stopping smoking, getting more physical activity, and managing high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.  Of the 200,000 premature deaths, more than  half occur in people younger than 65.  Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC said that “these findings are really striking.  We are talking about hundreds of thousands of deaths that don’t have to happen.  It’s possible for us to make rapid and substantial progress in reducing these deaths.”

Check out this video for more information about this study. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57601108/cdc-200000-heart-disease-deaths-could-be-prevented-each-year/.

Another study published on September 2nd in the online JAMA Internal Medicine, found that people who improved their eating habits after having a heart attack reduced their risk of dying from a heart attack by as much as 40%.  Dr. David Frid, a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic commented that “when you compare that to other interventions that we do…that reduction is almost as good as what we see with statins.”  Specifically the participants in this study were encouraged to follow a Mediterranean style food plan.  The results of this study is very consistent with the result the landmark study published February 25th in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrating the protective effect of the Mediterranean diet. Click here to read a previous post about that NEJM article.  http://www.h3daily.com/nutrition/hundreds-of-studies-prove-mediterranean-diet-the-way-to-go/.

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