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New Stroke Guidelines Will Change Stroke Treatment in the U.S

Each year, more than 690,000 Americans have strokes caused by blood clots blocking vessels in the brain, called ischemic strokes. Some of the clots can grow large and may require intense therapy to treat.

However, widely celebrated new research reaffirms that large blood clots in the brain are less likely to result in disability or death, if the blockage is removed in the crucial early hours of having a stroke.

Right now the standard treatment is a clot-dissolving drug called tPA. But it must be given intravenously within 4.5 hours to be effective. For people with larger brain clots, tPA only works about a third of the time.

New studies recommend doctors to use modernized -retrievable stents, to open and trap the clot, allowing doctors to extract the clot and reopen the artery nearly every time when used with tPA.

To learn more read “Clot Removing Devices Provide Better Outcomes for Stroke Patients” and visit StrokeAssociation.org to learn the warning signs of stroke.

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Nutrition Changes at NH Schools A Big Success

In 2010, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act created the nutrition standards schools follow today to ensure healthy foods and beverages are being served to our children while at school. These standards are based on science and the recommendations of pediatricians and school food service experts. Schools are now serving students more fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as beverages low in sugar. School children now have food choices their parents want their kids to be eating. And the standards are working in New Hampshire. 96% of school districts are serving healthy meals that meet strong nutrition standards. A Harvard study found that since the Act went into effect, kids are eating 16% more vegetables and 23% more fruit at lunchtime. The American Heart Association and You’re The Cure advocates support policies to improve the overall health environment in schools, to model sensible eating behaviors and back parents’ efforts in raising healthy children.

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Have you checked out the AHA store lately?

T-shirts, measuring bowls, jewelry and everything in between. This summer you can “Shop Heart” choose the best of AHA swag like cookbooks, apparel, and accessories.

You can help spread our message of heart health when you wear an American Heart Association t-shirt, jacket, lapel pin, or tie. In addition to great gear we also stock educational materials so you can share important heart and stroke prevention advice with family and friends. Best of all when you "Shop Heart" money spent supports the mission of the American Heart Association.

Check out the latest merchandise in the store and show your support for the AHA today. 

P.S.  – There is a limited edition You’re the Cure T-shirt in the store. But hurry, only a couple dozen remain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Fight for the NH Health Protection Program Continues into 2016

Providing low income residents access to affordable health insurance is a key to prevention of heart disease and stroke. The New Hampshire Health Protection Program which went into effect in 2015 has enabled 40,000 previously uninsured Granite Staters to gain access to preventive healthcare and has reduced uncompensated care in our hospitals’ emergency rooms. The NHHPP needs to be reauthorized by NH lawmakers prior to December 31, 2016, when the program funded by federal Medicaid dollars is due to sunset. While this was not accomplished during the recent state budget process, lawmakers have heard our calls for support and have vowed to bring forth legislation this coming January to address continuation of the program. The American Heart Association will continue the fight for reauthorization of this successful and critically needed insurance program this coming fall. Thanks to You’re The Cure advocates who have contacted their legislators in support of the NH Health Protection Program!

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Summer Health Tips

The arrival of summer means days at the pool, family barbeques, picnics, sports and other outdoor activities. Below are a few tips that you can use this summer to keep your whole family happy and healthy.

 

 

Staying active in the summer months

  • Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! Drink plenty of water before, during and even after physical activity.
  • Protect your family from the sun.
  • Try to avoid intense physical activity during the hottest parts of the day (between noon to 3pm).
  • Dress for the heat.
  • Head indoors when the heat becomes unbearable. There are plenty of indoor activities that can keep you active on the hottest days.

Heart-Healthy Cookout Ideas

  • Go fish!
  • Make a better burger by purchasing leaner meat and adding delicious veggies.
  • Replace your traditional greasy fries with some heart healthy baked fries.
  • Veggie kabobs are a fun and healthy addition to your family barbeque.
  • Try grilled corn on the cob.

Healthy Road Trip

  • Make “rest breaks” active.
  • Pack healthy snacks to avoid the unhealthy foods at rest stops along your way.
  • Pack to play to continue your regular physical activity.
  • Reach for water instead of being tempted by sugary drinks.

Summer Snack Ideas

  • Homemade freezer fruit pops are an easy and fun treat for the whole family.
  • Keep your veggies cool and crisp during the summer months and they becoming a refreshing treat.
  • Fruit smoothies area a healthy way to cool yourself down on a hot summer day.
  • Mix up your own trail mix to take on all of your summer adventures.
  • Just slice and serve all the delicious fruits that are in season during the summer months.

 

Read more about these tips and other getting healthy tips over at www.heart.org/GettingHealthy 

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Marketing of Unhealthy Foods in New Hampshire Schools Undermines Efforts to Instill Healthy Habits in Children

Preventing childhood obesity is one of the most important ways we can reduce the future risk of heart disease in adults. Tremendous progress has been made in school nutrition in recent years. There is overwhelming support among parents that their children have a healthier food environment during the school day. And in New Hampshire 98% of school districts have implemented the new nutrition guidelines for school meals under the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act. Yet food and beverage companies are still allowed to market junk food to students through giveaways like posters, scoreboards, coupon incentive programs and even on branded educational materials! Schools are not allowed to sell products that don’t meet the USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools Guidelines, so food and beverage companies should not be allowed to advertise these products. To learn more about public policies to help build healthy environments at school and in the community, please visit:  www.voicesforhealthykids.org.

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How to Keep the Winning Game Going

You're the Cure on the Hill isn’t the only opportunity to connect with members of Congress! As their constituents, you have the power and the RIGHT to tell them at any time to step up to the plate on the heart and stroke issues you care about most.


Here are some tips for getting your lawmaker off the bench and into the game:

 

  • Follow them on social media and send them messages on issues you care about.
  • Sign up for their e-newsletters on their websites. This is a great way to learn about events where you can meet the lawmakers in person and stay informed.
  • Work with your local AHA advocacy staff to schedule an in-district meeting. Members of Congress come home throughout the year on recess breaks, so they use this time to meet with constituents back in the district. Take advantage of their time at home and schedule a meeting to discuss the heart and stroke issues that matter to you and your family.
  • Most importantly, take action year round. Watch your inbox for calls to action from You’re the Cure and continue engaging your lawmaker through emails, phone calls and tagging them in your social media posts.

We had a real impact this week, but we need to keep the momentum going. Let's keep reminding our members of Congress that they need to step up for heart health all year round!

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May is American Stroke Month

Anyone can have a stroke and everyone should be ready.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke and every 4 minutes, someone dies from a stroke. That is why The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is inviting all Americans to become Stroke Heroes by learning and sharing the warning signs of stroke, F.A.ST. (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1).

Recognizing and responding to a stroke emergency immediately can lead to quick stroke treatment and may even save a life. Be ready!

Here is how you can participate in American Stroke Month

  • Share the F.A.S.T. acronym with your friends, family and loved ones throughout American Stroke Month.
  • Share our F.A.S.T. Quiz to test your stroke knowledge.
  • Download our free Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. mobile app to prepare you in case of a stroke emergency and to have easy access.

Go to StrokeAssociation.org/StrokeMonth to learn more about how you can get involved.

 

 

 

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From the Bottom of our Hearts - Thank You!

National Volunteer Week (April 12-18) is right around the corner and we couldn’t let it pass without saying how much we appreciate all your contributions as a You’re the Cure advocate. It’s advocates like you who give their time, energy, and passion to help create healthier communities across the country.  We are deeply grateful for your commitment and talent as an advocate.

Since staff can’t always shake your hand and say thank you in person we’ve got a brief video to share. When you watch I am sure you too will be moved by all the great work happening in your states and communities and we look forward to more success in the future. Take a moment to check out the video and then encourage other to get involved and join in the fun.

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Over 38,000 in New Hampshire May Lose Access to Healthcare

New Hampshire recently received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand access to healthcare coverage for hard-working uninsured adults, through a premium assistance program. This program enabled over 38,000 Granite Staters to enroll in private health plans offered through the NH Marketplace, with the premiums paid for with federal Medicaid funds. As a result, thousands who previously could not afford the high cost of health insurance, have gained access to preventive services and cost-effective treatment for heart disease and stroke related illness. Since coverage was extended, the NH Hospital Association found a 17% decrease in emergency room use among the uninsured! If NH does not continue funding this critical health program for the next two years, these same individuals risk having to fall back to foregoing preventive care and going to their hospital ER for illnesses that could otherwise be avoided. You’re The Cure advocates are urged to stay in contact with legislators until funding is secured to continue the NH Health Protection Program.

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