Welcome to the fourth issue of the Partnership Pulse - a periodic newsletter of the Partnership for a Heart-Healthy, Stroke-Free Massachusetts. This newsletter will keep you informed about resources and best practices that you can use in your work to prevent and control heart disease and stroke.
First School Wellness Learning Forum Held
The Partnership's learning forum on School Nutrition was held on January 30, 2012. Participants included superintendents and other administrators, directors of school health services, nurse leaders, directors of food services, a school committee member, and MA Department of Public Health school wellness specialists.
The second school wellness learning forum on Physical Activity in Schools is planned for February 29, 2012.
Chronic Disease Coalition Meeting
Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been awarded a federal Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Grant to develop a coordinated state plan and partnership for the prevention and control of chronic diseases including heart disease and stroke, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and cancer. A group of representatives from 25 organizations including the Partnership has been meeting to guide the development of a Massachusetts Coordinated Chronic Disease State Plan. Goals have been identified, and strategies are being developed for reaching long-term (five-year) objectives within each of the goal areas. The statewide plan draft will be circulated to key organizations and stakeholders before being communicated publicly in June.
Save the Date!
Partnership's Eighth Annual Meeting
Save the Date!
Worksite Wellness Council of Massachusetts Annual Conference
School Wellness Awards
Fall River Fitness Challenge
Over 750 adults and over 4,000 school kids are participating in a challenge to get fit, prevent Type 2 Diabetes, and collectively lose more than a ton of weight (2,000 lbs.). Community Development Recreation, Diabetes Association, General Fitness, Healthy City Fall River, Partners for a Healthier Community, and Fall River YMCA have joined together to promote health and fitness in Greater Fall River. Participants gain access to programs and fitness centers throughout the city for little or no cost. The activities help them learn to eat well, lose weight, get fit, prevent diabetes and other diseases - and win some great prizes! For more information on this successful initiative (and to register if you live in Greater Fall River), visit Fall River Fitness Challenge.
Massachusetts Public Health Association
MPHA is a statewide membership organization that engages communities in advocacy to protect and improve the health of all the Commonwealth's residents. MPHA's focus is on preventing disease and injury. Its Act FRESH Campaign [FResh Environments Support Health] works to increase access to healthy affordable food and safe public space for physical activity. Another priority issue for MPHA is including prevention in public health funding as the key to improving health outcomes and reducing costs. To learn more about MPHA and its important initiatives, and to sign an open letter to Massachusetts legislators supporting funding for community-based public prevention programs, visit MPHAweb.org.
Office on Women's Health
The US Health and Human Services OWH works to improve the health and sense of well-being of all U.S. women and girls. Its mission is to provide leadership to promote health equity for women and girls through sex/gender-specific approaches. OWH achieves its mission by developing innovative programs, educating health professionals, and motivating behavior change in consumers through the dissemination of health information. The OWH website includes information on important women's health initiatives and links on A-Z health topics. For information for Health Professionals and to order professional publications (some available in Spanish), click here: OWH for Health Professionals.
Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking
Exposure to air pollutants has been linked to a wide range of cardiovascular and respiratory health effects including heart attacks. In 2000, the Massachusetts Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program was established to integrate health and environmental information systems in the state. Data on heart attack hospitalizations, as well as asthma hospitalizations, cancer, lead and carbon monoxide poisoning, and birth defects, are classified by location (e.g., census tract, county, and statewide). The Bureau of Environmental Health of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has geocoded the health data so that rates of diseases in each community can be compared to the overall statewide experience. Information and data are available on the EPHT website. Users can create tables and charts on each health condition for specific geographical areas, years, ages, and genders.
Workplace Supports for Chronic Disease Self-care for Older Workers with CVD
A new study published in Heart & Lung: The Journal of Critical Care (Jan;41(1):5-14. Epub 2011 Nov 12) examined the relationships between job characteristics and workplace support and self-care behaviors such as adherence to medication regimens, diet restrictions, symptom monitoring, and response to symptoms when they occur in a sample of 129 older workers (over age 45) with cardiovascular disease. Psychological job demands were negatively associated with self-care routines, whereas workplace supports (supervisor and coworker support) were positively associated with CVD self-care behaviors. The study's author, Dr. Victoria Vaughan Dickson of New York University, concluded that because job characteristics may interfere with self-care, clinicians should assess job demands and discuss stress management with older employed patients. Worksite programs that facilitate self-care among workers with CVD are needed to improve outcomes and quality of life.
National Healthy Worksite Program - sign up now!
The National Healthy Worksite Program is a CDC-led initiative designed to assist employers in implementing science- and practice-based prevention and wellness strategies that will lead to specific, measureable health outcomes to reduce chronic disease rates. Employer organization across the country can participate in national training and technical webinars. Sign up to receive CDC announcements for web-based training opportunities on the National Healthy Worksite Program website. Click on the link in the "DOES NOT MEET... eligibility requirements" paragraph to enter your organization's information.
Risk Factors Linked to Lifetime Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
A recent study reported in the January 26, 2012, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine conducted by Jarett Berry et al.1 concluded that lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease increases with increased risk-factor burden. Data on risk factor measurements and CVD events were collected on over 250,000 white and black males and females at ages 45, 55, 65, and 75. Participants with two or more major risk factors (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes) had significantly higher risk of death by age 80 from CVD than those with lower risk factors.
In the table of the study results below, High Risk is defined as having two or more major risk factors; Low Risk is defined as having one or no major risk factors.
Result trends were consistent across race and birth cohorts.
1 Jarett D. Berry, M.D., Alan Dyer, Ph.D., Xuan Cai, M.S., Daniel B. Garside, B.S., Hongyan Ning, M.D., Avis Thomas, M.S., Philip Greenland, M.D., Linda Van Horn, R.D., Ph.D., Russell P. Tracy, Ph.D., and Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D. Lifetime Risks of Cardiovascular Disease.