In a recent meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA), 20 of America’s most prominent cardiologists and medical specialists crafted a new action plan to save lives and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare spending.
Their medical research centered on the use of implantable cardiac defibrillators to prevent sudden cardiac death. The medical team calls on clinicians and government agencies to unite behind a coordinated, multi-step program that would help prevent sudden heart attack-related deaths.
“In spite of the billions spent each year, the medical community has still not identified a satisfactory method to determine which patients need [implantable] devices the most,” says Dr. Jeffrey J. Goldberger of Northwestern University’s Department of Medicine-Cardiology and spokesperson for AHA.
Dr. Goldberger estimates that a $50 million research initiative could significantly improve the ability to predict heart risk, allowing providers to target the most appropriate recipients, and also to guide consumers toward preventive heart health.
How Can You Defend Your Own Heart?
In addition to living a healthier active lifestyle, AHA suggests performing daily cardiovascular exercise (walking, biking, skating, tennis) for 30 to 60 minutes on most days to protect your heart.
Two other heart-healthy tasks that improve your longevity: know when to call 911 for any heart attack symptoms and to utilize public defibrillators in public areas—such as gyms, movies and malls. Both practices will also serve to blunt the often-fatal effects of sudden cardiac arrest and expedite emergency services.
What can you do to battle heart disease and a sudden heart attack? It’s never too late to safeguard your heart from disease.