Time to Update Your Heart Health

The American Heart Association has a new checklist for lifelong good health.

It’s called Life’s Essential 8, which was recently updated by a panel of experts who reviewed 2500 scientific papers since 2010.

Better cardiovascular health helps lower the risk for heart disease, stroke and other major health problems.

The 8 factors correlate well with the health parameters we monitor as we counsel patient to better manage weight.

Here are some highlights of the Essential 8:

1-What are the 8 Factors?

The components of Life’s Essential 8 include diet, physical activity, nicotine exposure, sleep, weight, blood lipids, blood sugar and blood pressure.

Many of these health behaviors and factors have updated recommendations based on the latest research.

Sleep duration is the one health behavior that’s been added in 2022.

2-Why Was Sleep Added in 2022?

New data has shown that too short or too long sleep has been associated with coronary heart disease.

In addition, poor sleep increases your risk of developing obesity, high blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol, depression and dementia.

Better sleep habits can help you attain better health.

3-What’s Your Heart Score?

You can access an online tool at the American Heart Association’s website to get your own overall heart score along with scores for the 8 essential behaviors and factors.

The following free downloadable fact sheets are also available:

  • How to Be More Active
  • How to Quit Tobacco
  • How to Get Healthy Sleep
  • How to Manage Weight
  • How to Control Cholesterol
  • How to Manage Blood Sugar
  • How to Manage Blood Pressure

Access these tools today and start improving your heart health!


Robert Kushner, MD

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