The American Heart Association in conjunction with others has launched a website to enable people to better understand their risks for heart disease, especially via family history, and to promote physical activity.
The website, breakawayfromheartdisease.com, is a collaboration between the AHA, Amgen, Schwinn Bicycles, Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and his wife Jennifer.
The collaboration is “about getting Americans to change the outcomes of heart disease in this country,” Suzanne R. Steinbaum, DO, FACC, director of women’s heart health, Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute, New York, and spokesperson for the AHA, said in an interview with Cardiology Today. “It’s the No. 1 killer of all Americans, and it comes down to the risk factors. Certainly family history is a huge risk factor, but heart disease is 80% preventable with simple lifestyle changes, education and action.”
Suzanne R. Steinbaum
The site provides information about how an individual can find out if he or she has risk factors for heart disease and lists bike and spin events in one’s area in an effort to spur physical activity, Jennifer Montana said in an interview. “It’s really to try to make people aware and educate them on their family history [of heart disease],” she said.
In addition, the site enables people to submit a photo of themselves and pledge to cycle a certain number of miles. For each photo submitted, $1 is donated to the AHA and the submitter is entered into a contest to win a pair of Schwinn bikes.
The site also links to the AHA’s cyclenation.org, which organizes cycling events to raise funds for the AHA and the American Stroke Association.
Steinbaum said the sites can be a resource for doctors as well.
“I think this is one of the greatest things we can do for our patients,” she told Cardiology Today. “So many times … I hear that a doctor will say, ‘Well, go exercise.’ That is by far the most ineffective advice, because people don’t know what to do. Here, we can say, go to breakawayfromheartdisease.com or cyclenation.org, [which] have not only a motivation and a mission, but an online community of support and education that will allow people to have a direction of focus.”
Joe Montana said he and Jennifer joined the collaboration because he had to make lifestyle changes after learning about his family history of heart disease.
“The more [people] we can get to the website, the better off everybody will be,” he told Cardiology Today. – by Erik Swain
Breakawayfromheartdisease.com. Accessed May 13, 2016.
Cyclenation.org. Accessed May 13, 2016.
For more information:
Suzanne R. Steinbaum, DO, FACC, can be reached at 110 E 59th St., Suite 8A, New York, NY 10022; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: The websites are sponsored in part by Amgen. Steinbaum reports no relevant financial disclosures.