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Seven factors for good health
November 18, 2010 - Kathie Evanoff
The American Heart Association is trying. They recently held their “Scientific Sessions of 2010,” meetings in Chicago to share new research by scientists who work on cardiovascular disease and stroke. Since learning of their discussions, I have been walking on eggshells for the past three days, and here’s why. Last Saturday, I went to my eye doctor for my annual checkup. After examining my eyes and determining there wasn’t much change from last year’s exam, he commented on the white spots developing in the inner corners of my eyelids. “Those are pockets of cholesterol,” he said. He went on to tell me they weren’t anything to be concerned about, I could get them removed if I want and they won’t affect my eyesight. I wasn’t worried about them. They only recently started showing up and my mother had them too. She had them removed when she was about my age and while she was at it, she had her doctor do an eyelid lift as well. I was looking forward to my eventual eyelid lift. And then I came to work Monday morning and found in my e-mail a report from the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions. A representative was kind enough to e-mail me some of the talking points of the sessions. One of them hit a little too close to home. As it turns out, those cholesterol deposits have a name. They are called xanthelasmata and a recent Danish study has found these spots are predictors for people who have a higher risk of heart attack, artery disease and death. Yikes! The report went on to explain that half the people who have these deposits have normal blood cholesterol levels, yet they are still in danger. This led me to another report from the AHA that listed its impact goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and to reduce deaths from these diseases and stroke by 20 percent. These goals include: 1. Never smoked or quit more than one year ago 2. Body mass index 3. Physical activity of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity per week. 4. Healthy diet 5. Total cholesterol of less than 200 6. Normal blood pressure 7. Normal glucose levels
According to the report, for each good health factor a person has, they have a 14 percent less chance of dying over four years. If nothing else, these statistics are enough to make us stand up and take notice of our health and work a little harder to do something about it. That eyelid lift doesn’t seem near as important as getting heart healthy. My mother, by the way, did not have high blood pressure or heart disease and she did not have a heart attack or stroke.
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