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Here are some disturbing statistics published by the American Heart Association.  Much of this is taken from Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2009 Update.

Did you know?

*  Nearly 2,400 Americans die of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) each day, an average of one death every 37 seconds.

*  Preliminary mortality data for 2006 show that CVD accounted for 34.2% of all 2,425,900 deaths in 2006, or 1 of every 2.9 deaths in the United States.

*  Good news:  From 1995 to 2005, death rates from CVD declined by 26.4%.

* Cardiovascular disease claims about as many lives each year as cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents and diabetes mellitus combined.

*  Half of adults 50 and younger with low 10-year risk of  CVD have high lifetime risk (News Release Jan. 13, 2009).

*  One in three female adults has some form of cardiovascular disease.

*  Since 1984, the number of CVD deaths for females has exceeded those for males.

*  In 2005, CVD was the first listed diagnosis of 3,023,000 females discharged from short-stay hospitals.  Discharges include people both alive, dead or of unknown status.

*  More than 150,000 Americans killed by CVD in 2005 were less than 65 years of age.

*  In 2009, an estimated 785,000 Americans will have a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 will have a recurrent attack.  It is estimated that an additional 195,000 silent first myocardial infarctions occur each year.

*  Each year, about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.  On average, every 40 seconds someone in the US has a stroke.  Good news: From 1995 to 2005, the stroke death rate fell 29.7% and the actual number of stroke deaths declined 13.5%.

Yikes!!

Are you at risk for heart disease?  Do you know what to do in the event of a heart attack?  Are you up to date on the latest CPR Myths & Tips?

Read 5 Ways to Celebrate American Heart Month for more information on how to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Here’s a Power Point Presentation for 2009 American Heart Org Stats in case you want to present these facts to your family, school or group.

 Here is a summary of “Risk Factors for Heart Disease” from the American Heart Association:

* Diabetes Mellitus – At least 65% of people with diabetes mellitus die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.   Let Allegro help manage your diabetes with low cost Diabetes Supplies.

 * High Blood Cholesterol and Other Lipids – High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels of less than 40mg/dL are associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.  Determine your cholesterol quickly and easily with a Home Cholesterol Test Kit.

* High Blood Pressure – About 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% who have a first stroke and 74% who have Congestive Heart Failure have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg.  Do you know your blood pressure?  Take it anytime, anywhere with your own blood pressure monitor

* Metabolic Syndrome – Defined as having three or more of the following abnormalities:

- Waist circumference greater than 102 cm (40 inches) in men and 88 cm (35 inches) in women.

- Triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher.

- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level less than 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women.

- Blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher or drug treatment for hypertension.

- Fasting plasma glucose level of 100 mg/dL or higher.

Men and women with the MetS were approximately 1.5 and 2 times more likely to develop CHD. Among the components of MetS, elevated blood cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol exhibited the strongest associations with CHD. Similar associations were found between the MetS and incident ischemic stroke.

Overweight and Obesity – You are considered overweight if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 and higher. You are considered obese if your BMI is 30 and higher.  Get weight loss help!

Physical Inactivity – The relative risk of coronary heart disease associated with physical inactivity ranges from 1.5 to 2.4, an increase in risk comparable to that for high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or cigarette smoking.  Get your heart pumping with these popular exercise/fitness products.

Tobacco – a whole lot of bad news for smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke:

- From 1997-2001, an estimated 438,000 Americans died each year of smoking-related illnesses; 34.7 percent of these deaths were cardiovascular-related.

- An estimated 35,052 nonsmokers die from coronary heart disease (CHD) each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

- One-third of those who receive percutaneous coronary artery vascularization are current smokers, and 50-60 percent continue to smoke after the procedure.

- Cigarette smoking remains a major cause of stroke in the United States. The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between smoking and subclinical atherosclerosis.

- There’s hope yet:  The 2004 Health Consequences of Smoking Report of the Surgeon General states that the risk of stroke decreases steadily after you quit smoking. Former smokers have the same risk as nonsmokers after five to 15 years.

- A study of women below age 44 found there was a strong dose-relationship for MI, with a risk of 2.5 for those smoking one to five cigarettes per day, rising to 74.6 for those smoking more than 40 cigarettes per day, compared with nonsmokers. – Another study on female smokers found the highest risk (6.8) for MI was in women younger than 55 years of age.

If you are at risk for heart disease or stroke, know that there are ways to manage these risk factors.  Please talk to you doctor about your concerns. 

Educate yourself and spread the word to your friends and family!  Read Staggering Heart Facts, Heart Attack/Stroke Warning Signs: Men vs. Women and  CPR Myths, Tips & Updates

People die every day because they ignore the signs of a heart attack.  They don’t want to “bother” anyone, or they thought the symptoms would just go away.  Here’s the deal, though… you never know for sure and it’s not worth guessing.  Personally, I’d rather be sent home with a prescription for GasX than be sent home in a box.

First things First:

Okay, so, the most important thing is that you dial 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY  (no more than 5 minutes) if you have heart attack symptoms.  Time is critical, especially now that they have all these new medications and treatments that will stop some heart attacks and strokes. 

Most heart attacks don’t happen the way we see them on TV.   Granted, some are obvious and immediate, but most heart attacks start slow, with only mild discomfort.  That’s what makes them so tricky!  Hey, you know when something is just not right.  Don’t wait too long if have the following symptoms:

Heart Attack Warning Signs for Men (from the American Medical Assoc.)

  • Chest Discomfort – Take heed if you are feeling uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Other Upper Body Discomfort – You may feel pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of Breath – This could happen with or without the chest discomfort or pain.
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling lightheaded or nauseous

Heart Attack Warning Signs for Women

Cardiovascular disease is the Number 1 cause of death in women and it is the most preventable.  Women experience the same heart attack symptoms as men, most commonly chest pain or discomfort, but women are more likely than men to experience the other common symptoms, particularly shortness or breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain

Women, Respond to these Symptoms!

  • Chest pain – may include back pain and/or deep aching and throbbing in one or both arms
  • Breathlessness and/or inability to catch your breath when waking up
  • Clammy sweating
  • Dizziness — unexplained lightheadedness and possible blackouts
  • Anxiety — unusual nervousness, feelings of impending doom
  • Edema — fluid retention and swelling in the ankles or lower legs
  • Fluttering, rapid heartbeats or palpitations
  • Nausea or gas
  • Feeling of heaviness, such as pressure-like pain between the breasts that may radiate to the left arm or shoulder 

What do I do if I Think I’m Having a Heart Attack?

Don’t second guess!  And don’t have someone drive you to the hospital if you can help it.  You’ll almost always get faster treatment if you call 9-1-1 and let the EMS crew take care of you.  You’ll also get faster treatment at the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.  Don’t ever drive yourself to the hospital unless you have absolutely no other option.

Difference Between a Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

A heart attack is caused by a circulation or blockage problem in the heart whereas cardiac arrest is caused by an electrical problem in the heart.  Sudden cardiac arrest is more frequent in people who have had heart attacks before because their hearts may be damaged and may pump poorly. Damage to the heart muscle can lead to disturbances of the electrical system and in turn can cause dangerously fast heart rhythms that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. 

Signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

  • Cardiac arrest strikes immediately and without warning
  • The victim is unresponsive (no response to tapping on shoulders)
  • The victim is not breathing normally (no normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds)

What do I do of Someone is Having a Cardiac Arrest?

  • Tell someone to call 9-1-1 and get an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) (if available)
  • You begin CPR immediately (while someone else calls 9-1-1).  Read CPR Myths, Tips and Updates
  • If you are alone with an adult who has these signs of cardiac arrest, call 9-1-1 and get an AED (if one is available) before you begin CPR
  • Use an AED as soon as it arrives

Stroke Warning Signs (from the American Stroke Assoc.)

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Notice that the word *SUDDEN* appears in every case.  One of the “signs” is that these symptoms happen very quickly.  Like, you’re fine one second and not fine the next. 

What do I do if I Think I’m Having a Stroke?

If you or someone you’re with has one or more of these signs, immediately call 9-1-1 so an ambulance can be sent.  As with a heart attack, time is the biggest factor in your odds for recovery.  Check the time the symptoms first appeared so you can tell the EMS team.  There is a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) that, if administered within three hours of the start of symptoms, can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.

Stop heart disease and strokes before they happen!  Read Staggering Heart Facts, 5 Ways to Celebrate American Heart Month and Are You At Risk for Heart Disease?.

Do you have something to share that might help someone?  Please reply below!

Valentine’s Day and President’s Day aren’t the only holidays we’ll be celebrating this month. February is American Heart Month! Cross my heart.

It seems that matters of the heart are quite serious. So serious that every year since 1963, Congress has required the President to proclaim February ‘American Heart Month’.  The American Heart Association helps to draft this proclamation and get it signed.  Who knew?

Even so, after 45 years of ‘proclaiming’, cardiovascular disease remains the number 1 killer (including stroke) in our nation today. Let’s join President Obama and the American Heart Association’s plight to fight heart disease and raise awareness, shall we?

Here’s how:

1. Get Heart Smart. Like the American Heart Association (AMA) says, “learn and live”. Did you know that the death rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher for females than males? And that the warning signs of a heart attack may be different for men and women?  Read Staggering Heart Facts and Heart Attack & Stroke Warning Signs: Men vs Women.

2. Check yourself. According to the AMA, if you’ve made it to middle age (eg, 50) and you’re a non-smoker without high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes then congratulations!  You can look forward to: a substantially longer life; lower risk for CVD; lower risks for CVD death and non-CVD death; better health-related quality of life in older age; and, substantially reduced Medicare expenditures. Start monitoring your cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels now. They’re sneaky and you might not even know you’re in trouble. The good news is, they are manageable with help from your doc. If you smoke, quit it. It’s gross and stinky and stupid and so uncool,  unlike you.  Here is a List of Heart Attack & Stroke Risk Factors and Guidelines.

Products to help you measure and track from home:  cholesterol test kit, blood pressure monitors and diabetic meters & test kits.   Monitor your heart health here.

3.  Get Heart Healthy.  Eating right, staying fit and managing your weight will go a long way to keeping a heart attack at bay.  Learn how here.  Get started with  heart rate monitors.

4.  Spread the Word.  As with all diseases, I believe that awareness is half the battle.  You could save someone’s life by sharing your knowledge about heart disease with your family, friends, schools, social groups, community groups.  Even if it is just in casual conversation, try to work in “have you had your blood pressure checked lately?”  or “did you know that… “.  The AMA asks you to be part of the cure.  Become an advocate!  Another way to spread the word is to get involved with local heart charities.  You can volunteer at hospitals, deliver leaflets door to door, start your own campaign or attend charity events.  Here are some specific ways to give.

5.  Cover your bases.  Do you know what to do in the event of a heart attack?  Do you know how to do CPR? Does your school, home, company and shopping mall have an Automated External Diffibrilator (AED)?  They are so affordable now, there is no excuse.  If you or a loved on is at risk for a heart attack you may also consider getting a 911 Medical Alert System

See all Diagnostic Products.

If you’ve read all of these articles and you crave more, visit the American Heart Association website.

Happy American Heart Month!  Please take care of yourself.  We heart you.

-v

People have a real knack for improvising when it comes to getting things done.   Even when we’re weak or disabled we tend to figure out a way to get those cans open, or cut that piece of meat, or finagle those blasted peas into our mouths, even if it means having someone do it for us.  We forget though, or maybe don’t even consider, that there are products designed to do nothing more than make you more independent and make your life easier.  

AllegroMedical.com carries a huge – and I mean ‘hundreds and hundreds huge’  – inventory of Daily Living Aids designed to help everyone — disabled or not — get things done. 

Stop struggling!  Check out these  nifty kitchen gadgets and eating aids.  You might find a product to help you, or someone you love, make life a little easier.  Ahhh. . .

Kitchen Aids

New!  iTouchless products - Check out these stylish, ‘kitchen-forward’ 21st century gizmos including plastic bag resealers, electronic automatic pepper mill & salt grinder, paper towel dispenser, automatic water dispenser, automatic soap dispenser, recycle bins, trash cans and more.  Great gifts. 

High Chair - All-Purpose High Chair with Adjustable ArmsHigh Chair with Adjustable Arms - Sit up high while working at the kitchen counter or sink with this adjustable height chair.   Weight capacity is 300 lbs. 

 

Maddagrip Jar Opener  Jar Openers – I use these all the time.   We have a bunch to choose from, including the Hot Hand Protector and Jar Opener.  It’s a hot pad that doubles as a jar opener.  Neat, huh.

 

Easy-Grip Knives & Utensils – Perfect for weak hands and wrists.  These lightweight, dishwasher safe tools have an ergonimcally angled handle to keep your wrist and hand in a natural position.  Besides the knives, we have a grater, utensil rack, carving fork, cheese slicer, spatula and kitchen shears.  Get them all!

The Rocking “T” Knife is our most popular rocker knife.  It allows easy cutting for people with a weak grasp or the use of only one hand.  Get the carrying case so you can take it with you when you eat out.

See more kitchen knives.

 

    Paring Boards galore.  There aren’t your everyday paring and cutting boards.  Oh no.  They have special doo hickies that stick up and hold your food in place so you don’t have to chase it around before you cut it.  Some of them even have suction cups on the bottom (so you don’t have to chase the board too!). 

 

   Scrub brush for one handed use.  It suctions to the counter so you can clean your vegetables, your dishes, your fingernails or even your dentures!  Please don’t use the same one to clean everything, though.  Please.

 

  Pan Holder – Keep your pans from spinning while you stir with one hand.  Folds for easy storage in your drawer.

 

 Push/Pull Helper – If you have arthritic hands or weak hands, or short arms, or a bad back, use this nifty stick to push or pull oven racks or hot dishes. How about using it if you don’t want to get burned?  That’s when I would use it. 

 

Folding Shopping Cart – Okay, not technically a kitchen gadget, but they sell like hot cakes.  Sturdy, super affordable and cool looking, you’ll whisk goods to and fro for years to come with this baby.   Red or black.  Get both.

Eating Aids

  The Scooper Bowls with Suction are our most popular eating aids.  They stick to the table like glue and they are curved on the sides to allow you to get the food onto your fork instead of dumping it over the sides.  Great for children and adults.  See more scoop plates.

 

  Cutlery – From forks to sporks, angled , built-up, left-handed or comfort-grip, we have what it takes to get the food from your plate to your mouth in the most efficient way possible.  See all Eating Utensils.

 

Bibs – Keep your clothes clean with these mealtime protectors.  Great for both the eaters and the feeders.

 

  All eating and no drinking makes Jack a dry boy, so don’t forget your drinking aids!  Drinking straws, nosey cups, spill-proof Kennedy cups, they’re all here.

Is there someone in your life that could use a little help becoming more independent in the kitchen, or at the dining table?  Think about it and have fun poking around our Daily Living Aids sub-categories.  There is a LOT to see.

Other than that, I hope you have a fabulous day.  Thanks again for being an Allegro customer!

-v

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