Winter 2009 Vol. 1 No. 2
Topic of the Quarter: Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer of men and women across all racial and ethnic groups. As the first and third leading causes of death, heart disease and stroke contribute to rising health care costs. In 2009 an estimated $475 billion will be spent on treatment and lost productivity. State governments pay a share of the burden for their state employees and Medicaid enrollees.
For most people, heart disease and stroke can be prevented through lifestyle and behavior changes. Controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes reduces the risk of developing heart disease. When people eat a healthy diet, are physically active, maintain a healthy weight and don't smoke or quit smoking their risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and some cancers significantly decreases.
Minority populations bear a disproportionate burden of death and disability due to cardiovascular disease. Some populations and communities have limited access to healthy food, places to exercise and smoking cessation assistance. A community-neighborhoods, child care settings, schools, workplaces, senior centers, and health care settings-can support individual and family efforts to eat healthy food and engage in regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. With rising health care costs, lawmakers are becoming more interested in policies that promote healthy eating and active living among all populations.
Resources on Heart Disease
CDC, NHLBI, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association
Click Here to Listen!
Podcast on Disparities in Cardiovascular Health
Upcoming Events and NCSL Resources
NCSL Spring Forum
NCSL's Spring Forum will take place in Washington, D.C., from April 22-25. This annual event is an opportunity for state legislators and legislative staff to learn about the new administration, discuss trends in state and federal policy, share information and develop NCSL policies.
Weight of the Nation, July 27-29, 2009, Washington, D.C. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, presents its inaugural conference on obesity prevention and control, designed to highlight successful policy and environmental strategies.
NCSL Resources Web Pages
Public Health Herald Fall 2008
Public Health Menu Page
Chronic Disease Information Page
Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Page
Wellness Overview Page
LegisBriefs: February 2009
Disparities in Cardiovascular Health
Physical Activity Guidelines
In the News
Friday, February 6, 2009, is National Wear Red Day
To raise awareness and show support for addressing heart disease as the #1 killer of women, Americans nationwide will wear a red dress, shirt, tie or the Red Dress Pin.
2008 & 2009 Wear Red Resolutions
In 2008-2009 at least 14 states (Arizona, Delaware, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin) adopted resolutions to support the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign to publicize the high rate of heart disease and stroke deaths in women.
Heart Attack Hospitalizations Drop After Smoke Free Ordinance Takes Effect-City of Pueblo, Colorado, 2002-2006
Prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke can cause coronary heart disease. The Pueblo Heart Study demonstrated over a three-year period that smoke-free policies can prevent death and disease linked to heart disease by showing a reduction in heart attack hospitalizations due to reduced secondhand smoke exposure.
CDC Study: Cost Effectiveness of Community-Based Physical Activity Interventions
When people are physically active their risk for developing chronic diseases is significantly lowered. At least 54 percent of U.S. adults do not engage in enough physical activity to meet public health recommendations. Annually, conditions resulting from physical inactivity cost the United States an estimated $24 billion to $76 billion in health care expenditures. Seven population-wide interventions to promote physical activity have been shown to be cost-effective ways to reduce chronic disease and improve the quality of life of adults over a lifetime.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: More Americans Reporting Multiple Chronic Diseases, Study Finds
The number of people suffering from one or more chronic conditions has increased over the years. The most prevalent conditions-high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes-accounted for 31 percent of all reported conditions. Researchers concluded that, "more dramatic and systemic efforts are needed to include a societal shift where primary and secondary prevention is considered a basic benefit and healthy lifestyles are the cultural norm."
Report Finds More Americans Now Obese Than Overweight
New data from the National Center for Health Statistics reveals that the number of obese Americans has now surpassed the number of Americans classified as overweight.
Public Health Project Partner News
NCSL collaborates with other national organizations, including the National Governors Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Society for Public Health Education.
Resources from the Society for Public Health Education on the effectiveness of community programs for healthy lifestyles that increase "Heart Health":
PREMIER: A Trial of Lifestyle Interventions for Blood Pressure Control: Intervention Design and Rationale, describes the benefits and difficulties of making multiple lifestyle changes concurrently and the effects such changes can have on blood pressure, particularly in minorities at higher risk for hypertension.
Promoting Healthy Lifestyles in Children: A Pilot Program of Be a Fit Kid, the 12-week intervention showed significant improvements in body fat, fitness, nutrition knowledge, dietary habits, and in those who participated 75 percent of the time, significant reductions were seen in total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
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