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AHA: Americans’ Cardiovascular Health far from Ideal

Heart and Blood Pressure

There are many factors that can come into play when determining a person’s cardiovascular health. In the workplace, it may be easy to tell whether someone is obese or injured because of the physical signs, but cardiovascular health can be trickier to identify.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently published an update with data as it relates to Americans’ heart and blood vessel health in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association that sheds some light on where the U.S. stands with cardiovascular health today.

The release, titled “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2012 Update,” highlights data showing that Americans are in fact gradually increasing their risk for cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses.

“By monitoring health, as well as disease, the update provides information essential to public health initiatives, patient care and for people to take personal responsibility for their health – and for their lives,” said Veronique Roger, the update’s lead author.

One of the most interesting declarations from this update is the statistical change in diet that we have seen in the past 40 years. For starters, caloric intake has increased by over 22 percent in women and over 10 percent in men since 1971.

The AHA uses seven different potential health factors to determine a person’s cardiovascular health: smoke-tobacco use, overall weight, diet, blood pressure and glucose levels, physical activity, cholesterol, and any diagnosed heart or blood vessel disease.

According to the data presented in the AHA’s update, approximately 94 percent of American adults report at least one of those factors at a poor level, and approximately 38 percent have at least three.

“In particular, more children, adolescents and young adults will need to learn how to improve and preserve their ideal levels of health factors and health behaviors into older ages,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, one author of the update.

The AHA’s report only adds more support to the claim that America’s hiring pool is becoming increasingly unhealthy in more ways than one.

“Moving people who are at poor health to make small changes in their behavior and reach intermediate health is a step in the right direction that can make a big difference,” Lloyd-Jones added.

In what ways can companies combat this increasingly serious trend of the American hiring pool? Let us know your thoughts and/or opinions in the comment box below.

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