American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
For Kids, What is Ideal Heart Health?

The road to cardiovascular disease begins in childhood, and it’s a road many American children are on, based on a new report from the American Heart Association that indicates very few kids meet all the criteria for ideal heart health.

Many are overweight or obese. Others don’t get enough exercise or have picked up smoking. But the biggest disqualifying factor was diet: Less than 1 percent of children ages 2 to 19 meet the criteria for an ideal diet, according to federal data from 2007 to 2008.

That troubling reality led the AHA to issue Thursday’s scientific statement that provides the first detailed look at ideal heart health for kids: no tobacco use, a healthy weight, at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, a healthy diet score and normal blood pressure, total cholesterol and blood sugar.

Pediatric cardiologist Thomas R. Kimball, M.D., was “shocked” when he heard so few U.S. children meet all seven criteria for ideal heart health.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

The Jig is Up on Added Sugar

ICYMI - which means "in case you missed it" ... new scientific evidence reveals the dangers of too much sugar for our kids.  New recommendations by the American Heart Association are as follows:  Experts recommend that children ages 2-18 consumer less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.  Also recommended is limiting sugary beverage consumption to no more than one 8 ounce serving per week.  The recommendations also advise that children under the age of two should not consumer any foods and beverages with added sugars. 

According to the statement by the AHA, eating foods high in added sugars throughout childhood is linked to the development of risk factors for heart disease, such as an increased risk of obesity and elevated blood pressure in children and young adults.

“Children who eat foods loaded with added sugars tend to eat fewer healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products that are good for their heart health,” said Miriam Vos, M.D., Ms.P.H, lead author, nutrition scientist and associate professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

The likelihood of children developing these health problems rises with an increase in the amount of added sugars consumed. Overweight children who continue to take in more added sugars are more likely to be insulin resistant, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, according to the statement.

“There has been a lack of clarity and consensus regarding how much added sugar is considered safe for children, so sugars remain a commonly added ingredient in foods and drinks, and overall consumption by children remains high – the typical American child consumes about triple the recommended amount of added sugars,” said Vos.

For more on this story, as shared on Good Morning American, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

Advocate Spotlight: Rae O'Leary

Rae O'Leary South Dakota

Rae O'Leary is a advocate for public health and led the Canli Coalition to pass a tribal ordinance to protect the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe from the dangers of secondhand smoke by making all enclosed places smoke-free.  Rae also joined our state-wide advocacy committee to share her knowledge, expertise and experiences to benefit all communities in South Dakota.  We are pleased to introduce you to Rae O'Leary. 

As a public health advocate and research Nurse I believe in volunteering with organizations like the American Heart Association dedicated to reducing the cardiovascular health disparities our nation experiences. Working on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota, I encounter shocking data on the health disparities of American Indians, as well as real people suffering from and dying from cardiovascular disease.

It is important to me to be an advocate for health equity in the community I live in and at a national level. For the last 7 years, I have led the Canli Coalition that got a tribal ordinance passed to protect the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe from the dangers of secondhand smoke by making all enclosed public places smoke-free. My motivation for this work was initially personal, because I did not want my children growing up in a place where it was acceptable to smoke in the bank. However, over the years my reason for being a public health advocate expanded to a desire to establish a community where American Indian’s have an equal opportunity to be healthy as the rest of America.

Successfully passing the CRST Smoke-Free Air Ordinance would not have been possible without the resources, support and funding from national organizations like AHA. My next goal is to create and provide a model for tribal tobacco policy that our greater reaching partners can share with other tribes to have a larger impact on cardiovascular health of American’s. It is absolutely possible to create change independently, but it is easier and faster to establish partnerships with others who share a common goal.

For more information on The Canli Coalition and tribal tobacco policy follow us! or @CanliCoalition on Twitter, or contact Rae O’Leary, RN, RRT, AE-C. Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc., PO Box 1824, Eagle Butte, SD 57625., or call 605-964-3418

Read More

South Dakota Heart Walks Raise Awareness for AHA Mission

Thousands of South Dakotans are expected to join one of our state's three Heart Walks this Fall to raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the world. Heart Walks are non-competitive and in addition to raising money, helps to raise awareness for the life-saving mission of the American Heart Association.

According to the AHA, for every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours. Research has shown walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health. The benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for as little as 30 minutes each day can help reduce the risk of heart disease.  It is never too late to start living a healthier life.  Heart Walk is a great way to jump start a culture of healthy living for the entire family. 

Heart Walk participants also will enjoy the Heart Festival, which includes inflatables, refreshments, educational booths, and free blood pressure screenings. The Heart Walk is a free event and is open to the public.

South Dakota Heart Walks

Eastern South Dakota, Saturday, August 20th, Falls Park, Sioux Falls

Black Hills Heart Walk, Saturday, September 17th, Rapid City

Central States Heart Walk, Saturday, September 24th, Pierre

For information on participating in the Heart Walk, visit



Read More

South Dakota Hospitals and EMS Systems Recognized

The American Heart Association has recognized three South Dakota hospitals and one ambulance service with quality achievement awards for heart and stroke care.

Rapid City Regional Hospital, Avera Heart Hospital, Sanford USD Medical Center and Paramedics Plus were all recognized with Mission: Lifeline Awards for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. Rapid City Regional Hospital received the Bronze Plus Award for Receiving Centers; Avera Heart Hospital received the Gold Award for Receiving Centers; Sanford USD Medical Center received the Gold Plus Award for Receiving Centers; and Paramedics Plus received the EMS Bronze Award.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most deadly type of heart attack, caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, a significant number of STEMI patients don’t receive this prompt treatment.

Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. The Mission: Lifeline program in South Dakota was made possible by the historic $8.4 million dollar gift from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to the American Heart Association, which began the process to improve the system of care for heart attack patients.

“These awards illustrate that South Dakota has become a model system for rural states across the nation,” said Gary Myers, Director Mission: Lifeline South Dakota and EMS Consultant for Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association. “Our institutions are helping to create a new standard of rural care for heart attack patients and it is very exciting that South Dakota has gone from leading the country in heart attack death rates to leading the way in heart attack care.”

Rapid City Regional Hospital also has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® -Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success in ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment, according to nationally-recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Sanford USD Medical Center also has received the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure.

Read More

New Study: E-cigarettes could cut smoking-related deaths by 21 percent

E-cigarettes could lead to a 21 percent drop in deaths from smoking-related diseases in those born after 1997, according to a study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

The study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute and the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, found that under most plausible scenarios e-cigarettes and other vapor products have a generally positive public health impact. For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

Pokémon Go Brings Video Games Outside

Pokémon Go is getting players physically moving in the real world, a change from the stereotypical stationary screen time usually associated with gaming. The app works by allowing GPS to track the gamer’s location, which in turn moves the player’s avatar the same distance on the in-game map.

“There is already clear evidence that people are walking more each day while using it,” said Wei Peng Ph. D, an associate professor at Michigan State University, who studies the potential benefits in using video games and interactive media to promote health.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE. 

Read More

Pierre Recognized for Health Goals

The National League of Cities recently recognized the city of Pierre for completing key health and wellness goals established by the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties initiative. Let’s Move! is a nationwide effort to help ensure kids grow up healthy. Pierre received 3 medals for promoting My Plate, My Place, a campaign designed to help people make healthy food choices, as well as a medal for helping expand access to healthy food programs for children.

Mayor Laurie Gill said that the city has had a long-standing goal of creating a healthy environment in Pierre, including an effort by the recreation department to provide citizens of all ages with a variety of opportunities to stay healthy. The recent awards are another indicator of the positive work in this area.

Read More

Advocate Spotlight: Amy Marsh

Amy Marsh South Dakota

My name is Amy Marsh and I have been providing Emergency Medical Services in South Dakota since 1991.  I currently work as an EMS Educator for Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and continue to volunteer for Renner Fire Rescue.  I attended my first Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class in 1992 and completed Paramedic training in 2004. 

I have been asked how did I end up working in EMS and it is kind of a funny story.  In July 1991, my neighbor’s barn started on fire and I walked over to check on them.  As I walked up I noticed a number of “older” people working on the fire, mind you I was 21 years old and these individuals were probably 40 or 45, I thought to myself it would be interesting to find out how to help out. 

After the fire was out, I walked up to the fire chief, Roger Christenson, and asked how someone could become a volunteer.  He asked if I would be interested in taking an EMT class, I had no idea what that was but I said sure that sounds like fun.  Chief Christenson told me it was a little bit more than basic first aid, which I found out on the first night was incorrect.  My career and life-long passion for caring for people had begun. 

During my career, I have been an instructor for a number of American Heart Association classes including, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Life Support.  I thoroughly enjoy teaching those classes but my favorite thing to do is teach hands-only CPR and Basic AED operation.  These are the classes we teach to lay persons across the community.  To know that you may be teaching someone a skill that could change the outcome of a person in sudden cardiac arrest is so fulfilling. 

Emergency Medical Services across the country are largely volunteer and struggling to fill their rosters, I hope more individuals will consider assisting in their community.  It is an opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of all those in your community and beyond. 

Read More

The Sodium 411

Thinking about reducing the sodium in your and your family’s diet? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll show you how extra salt sneaks into your diet and how it hurts your health, and share tips for kissing the excess salt goodbye. We call it the Sodium 411 ... and be sure to keep checking our blog, the Salty Scoop, to learn more.  Here you’ll find the latest information on sodium and your health, healthy recipes, info-graphics, videos about lowering sodium, and our sodium quiz.

Find out how much sodium the American Heart Association recommends and get tips for keeping track of how much sodium you’re eating. Most of us are eating much more sodium than we need, even if we never pick up the salt shaker. Get tips on how to cut back on salt and sodium and move on to a healthier relationship with food. Get healthy recipes and easy tips for cooking with less salt and sodium. We have recipes in English and Spanish.

Need a quick info-graphic to encourage your employees to consumer less salt?  You've come to the right place!  CLICK HERE  Test your sodium IQ but taking our quiz ... find out how YOU can reduce your sodium intake and keep your heart healthy. 

This information is designed to help individuals improve their health and understand heart disease and stroke risks. It is not intended, or to be construed, as medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, and is not a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with an individual’s medical needs. Individuals with medical conditions or dietary restrictions should follow the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

Read More

[+] Blogs[-] Collapse