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PositiveTip for

Lifestyle Matters!

Forty years of lifestyle changes in communities reduce morbidity and mortality.

A 40 year community-based effort in a rural Maine (U.S.) county to help residents control elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, stop smoking, eat healthfully, and exercise more appears to have yielded significant benefits. Compared with other counties in the same state, Franklin's residents have lower mortality rates and fewer hospitalizations resulting in savings of $5.4 million in hospital charges annually after adjusting for income.

PositiveTip: Simple, positive lifestyle changes yield big benefits over time!

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Good News in Nation’s Cardiovascular Health

Hospitalizations and deaths from cardiac or stroke events are down significantly.

Yale researchers mining Medicare data discovered encouraging national trends in cardiovascular disease.  After examining records of 34 million Americans, 65 or older, from 1999-2011, they found reductions in hospitalizations for heart attack (38%), heart failure (30.5%) and ischemic stroke (33.6%). Risk of death one year after hospitalization dropped 23% for heart attack and 13% for heart failure and stroke. Many factors are involved in these improvements.

PositiveTip:  Control the factors you can such as avoid smoking, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

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Air Pollution Risks

Long-term exposure to fine particle air pollution increases hospitalizations for the elderly.

Using satellite data and ground measurements, researchers in New England have shown that the elderly are at increased risk for hospitalization after long-term exposure to fine particle air pollution. For each 10 µg/m3 increase in long-term exposure to particulates measuring <2.5 microns, there was a 3.12% increase in cardiovascular disease, 3.49% increase in stroke, and 6.33% increase in diabetes. The authors noted potential mechanisms for these findings, but indicated that a lack of data on individual confounders was a limitation.

PositiveTip: When possible, avoid long-term exposure to air pollution, and consistently make healthy choices in other areas of life.