What Guidelines Mean to You - Text Version

Updated:Feb 4,2014

What Guidelines Mean to You

The new cardiovascular prevention guidelines were written based on years of scientific research to develop the best approaches to preventing heart disease and stroke - the leading causes of death in the world. Here’s what you need to know about the guidelines, released Nov. 12 by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology:

IT ALL STARTS WITH AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR RISKS PERFORMED BY YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Heart
  • Stroke
  • High Blood Pressure

DISCUSSIONS WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR RISKS AND OVERALL HEALTH

THOSE DISCUSSIONS DRIVE PERSONALIZED TREATMENT FOR EACH PATIENT.

The guidelines help healthcare providers provide the best treatment focused on four important areas:

ASSESSMENT OF RISK: (for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.)

  • Calculators used to assess your personal risk set stage for discussions with healthcare provider
  • Risks for African-Americans specified for the first time
  • Stroke risks included for the first time

OBESITY:

  • Team-based treatment
  • Weight-loss strategies based on body mass index
  • Diet, exercise still best bets

CHOLESTEROL:

  • Overall health status and risks guide treatment
  • “Bad cholesterol number” no longer main factor guiding treatment
  • Decisions for drug treatment based on discussions with healthcare provider

LIFESTYLE:

  • 40 minutes of exercise 3–4 days a week
  • Eat lots of fruit, veggies
  • Most Americans should reduce sodium intake
View the What Guidelines Mean to You Infographic