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Wednesday, April 18, 2007 9:00 AM

Radiocast: Heart Healthy Habits

Rand: This is Healthcare 411. Heart disease is the leading cause of death. But adults can control some of their risk factors. More after this.


[Begin PSA: Listen to Your Kids]

Narrator: Listen to your kids about smoking.

Kid 1: It makes me sad that my dad doesn’t stop.

Narrator: Over 44 million Americans are current smokers.

Kid 2: It affects our family because we all don’t want him to smoke and die.

Narrator: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths.

Kid 3: I really want them to stop smoking because I really love them.

Narrator: The good news is that minutes after quitting your health starts to improve. For help call 1-800- QUIT-NOW.

Kid 4: Cause you’re really special to us.

Narrator: A message from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

[End PSA]


Rand: This is Healthcare 411. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. But people may be able to reduce their risk by engaging in some heart healthy behaviors. Dr. Anita Soni, a survey statistician at AHRQ.

Dr. Soni: The American Heart Association recommends several preventive measures that can help prevent or delay the onset of heart disease. Three key ones not smoking, engaging in regular physical exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight all of these can help people reduce their risk of heart disease.

Rand: Dr. Soni reviewed data from AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to see how adults incorporate these three measures into their lives.

Dr. Soni: Overall, 93 percent of adults are engaging in at least one of three recommended behaviors. But only about 18 percent engage in all three, and about 6 and a half percent do not do any one of them.

Rand: How do the numbers break down?

Dr. Soni: Well, numbers suggest that over half the adult population engages in physical activity three times a week. Less than 40 percent maintain healthy weight. And about three-quarters currently do not smoke. However, more than 18 percent of adults who have been told they already had heart disease continue to smoke.

Rand: To learn more go to healthcare411.org. I’m Rand Gardner. Healthcare 411 is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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