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Here’s to heart health

Created date

January 25th, 2011

February is the American Heart Association s American Heart Month. Here s some of the latest news and research about taking care of your heart.

Play your way to a healthy heart

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), adults should engage in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Statistics show, however, that nearly 70% of Americans do not follow these recommendations. There is now a fun alternative for people who feel like they don t have time for physical activity, or who don t enjoy exercise. The AHA has teamed up with Nintendo of America to promote fitness using active-play video games like Nintendo Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort. Because the games are convenient to use and fun, they are ideal for adults who want to have healthier hearts or just become more fit.

Heart attack victims wait to go to the hospital

Long delays between developing symptoms and going to the hospital are common among some people who are having a certain type of heart attack, according to a report in theArchives of Internal Medicine. Rapid medical treatment is particularly critical for people with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI which indicates a certain pattern on an electrocardiogram). According to the study authors, the average delay time from symptom onset to hospital presentation is two hours and has not decreased substantially despite multiple public education campaigns. Professional guidelines recommend that people call 9-1-1 if they have symptoms suggestive of a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, warning signs of a heart attack include chest pain or pressure; discomfort in one or both arms, jaw, back, or neck; shortness of breath; nausea; or lightheadedness. People cannot tell whether their symptoms indicate a STEMI or non-STEMI, so getting to the hospital quickly is essential no matter which type of heart attack they are experiencing. The study authors conclude that better interventions are needed to improve patient awareness of symptoms and the need to seek immediate care.