In a statement made by the American Heart Association (AHA) earlier this month, healthcare providers should treat unhealthy behaviors as aggressively as they treat high blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors. Behaviors such as smoking, unhealthy body weight, poor diet quality, and lack of physical activity can all lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. The AHA believes that an increased focus from providers can help improve these unhealthy behaviors that people may have, and be able to steer them towards a healthier lifestyle.
This change could mean a more comprehensive evaluation of someone’s health, urging physicians to use the “Five A’s” when caring for patients, which are:
- Assess a patient’s risk behaviors for heart disease.
- Advise change, such as weight loss or exercise.
- Agree on an action plan.
- Assist with treatment.
- Arrange for follow-up care.
This is all part of the AHA’s “2020 impact goals” which are to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.
What impact do you think this could have? Do you feel that your healthcare provider evaluates your behaviors enough, or should they be doing more? Let us know in the comment box below.