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February Is American Heart Month: ACC Survey Shows Cardiologists Practice What They Preach on Diet, Exercise

February 5, 2013

A recent ACC survey of over 650 cardiologists, shows that cardiologist practice what they preach and live heart healthy lifestyles.

Results show that almost eight out of 10 cardiologists report that they exercise at least three to four times a week, and more than 40 percent report exercising five to seven days a week. 

More than 45 percent of respondents cite medical knowledge about the consequences of a lack of exercise as a motivation to stick with it. The biggest motivators to exercise and eat well were staying fit, remaining healthy as they age, feeling healthy and improving their quality of life. Maintaining healthy weight, reducing stress and feeling good about themselves were also top motivators.   

The most common forms of exercise identified were aerobics/weight training/gym exercise, followed by walking, running and bicycling.

In addition, the cardiologists surveyed indicate providing a positive example for patients as one motivator to exercise and eat healthy foods, and most said they wish patients and the general public better understand how current actions like physical activity and diet affect their long-term health.

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"Each person needs to know their blood pressure, blood cholesterol and blood sugar; strive for normal weight; and if they smoke, seek help and find the motivation to stop smoking," said ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC. "A heart healthy lifestyle also helps prevent other diseases such as cancer, diabetes and lung disease. You can triple your benefit by taking care of your heart."

Through CardioSmart, the ACC is partnering with consumer and nonprofit organizations throughout February, which is American Heart Month, to host events that spread the word about heart health and educate the public on the importance of diet and exercise as aspects of a heart healthy life.

This year's American Heart Month message emphasizes the importance of women's heart health as heart disease is the number one killer of women, but most women don't know the signs or symptoms of this life-threatening condition.

ACC’s American Heart Month events include:

  • Women's Cardiovascular Health Symposium (Feb. 6, 3:30 p.m. ET): Prior to the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fashion Show, The ACC will host a town hall style discussion on women's heart disease prevention moderated by ACC Board of Trustees Member Mary Walsh, MD, FACC, and CardioSmart Chief Medical Expert JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC. Invited speakers, including ACC President William Zoghbi, MD, FACC, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Director Gary Gibbons, MD, will discuss how their personal and/or organizational activities support the goal of reducing heart disease among women and how, collectively, we should advance the fight against heart disease. A reception will follow the symposium.
  • The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fashion Show (Feb. 6, 7 p.m. ET): ACC is partnering with the NHLBI's The Heart Truth Campaign for the 10th annual Red Dress Collection Fashion Show in New York.
  • Seventh Annual Heart of Women’s Health Symposium (Feb. 8-9): helped health care professionals provide better treatment for their female patients in the ongoing battle against heart disease, the number one cause of death and disability among American women. The ACC will host an educational symposium to help health care professionals in providing better treatment for their female patients in the ongoing battle against heart disease, the number one cause of death and disability among American women.
  • CardioSmart Heart Health Awareness Day (Feb. 14): CardioSmart will partner with hospitals nationwide to provide free heart health screenings and educational materials to the public. In addition, screenings will be held at the U.S. House (Feb. 7) and Senate (Feb. 14) buildings in partnership with Sister to Sister.
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