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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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Social factors could erase gains in heart disease, stroke

Although deaths from heart attacks and strokes have been declining thanks to advances in prevention and treatment, social factors such as race and income could reverse that trend, according to a first-of-its-kind statement from the American Heart Association.

The incidence of heart disease and stroke in the United States is expected to rise 10 percent by 2030, with the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and age all partly to blame, the statement said.

Click here to read the rest of the article on our blog.heart.org site!

 

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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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American Heart Association Praises Historic FDA Action to Remove Trans Fat from Foods

Washington, D.C., June 16, 2015 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), released today:

“The American Heart Association joins the public health community today in celebrating what is truly a historic victory for the nation’s health. After years of advocating for the removal of industrially produced trans fat from the country’s food supply, we couldn’t be more gratified that this day has finally come."

Click here to read more!

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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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Op-Ed: Wisconsin should encourage sidewalks and bikeways

Check out this great op-ed that was printed in the Wisconsin State Journal this month.  It was submitted by Andy Wiegman, a member of our State Advocacy Committee and a member of the Metro-Milwaukee Board of Directors for the American Heart Association.

"In Wisconsin, some politicians in the Legislature want to eliminate a policy that places a premium on street design, taking away an important tool to increase the number of safe places and connected destinations for people who drive, walk and bike.

West Virginia, meanwhile, recently passed a law aimed at allowing people walking and biking to get around in a safer manner.

Interestingly, officials in both states are talking about the same program: Complete Streets."



Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/column/guest/andy-wiegman-wisconsin-should-encourage-sidewalks-and-bikeways/article_e541733b-7451-55be-a920-0305498a6f74.html#ixzz3cZa8QHjs

 

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Share your Story: Scott & Danielle Hawkins

Scott & Danielle Hawkins Michigan

In April of 2014 my husband, Scott, had an Ateriovenous Malformation (AVM) rupture. Fortunately, Scott knew something was happening because he had an intense headache and slurred speech. After calling me, we both called 911.


That phone call saved Scott's life and was the only reason he made it to the hospital in time to have life saving procedures.


The  AVM aneurysm caused a hemorrhagic stoke and also a heart attack. 


After 3 weeks in ICU,  5 weeks in pulmonary rehab and 20 weeks of inpatient intense rehabilitation, Scott came home. Something I was told many times would never happen.


Before the AVM, we led a very busy life. I worked full-time, Scott was about to start Graduate School at Michigan State University (Go Green!). We traveled, spent a lot of time with our children, went to music festivals, road trips and spent so much time with all of our family and friends.


Now, a year into our new life, it is definitely slower. Therapy is going strong and it is so encouraging to see progress still EVERY SINGLE DAY. We love to spend time with the kids, going to the movies, out to dinner and watching them in their many activities. We are also so excited to make it to music festivals again this summer. Of course there are many new limitations and obstacles and it has been quite a learning experience. But we have found so many resources and met so many incredible people along this journey. Scott and I really are lucky to have the most amazing support system of friends and family that support us and are excited to join us in this next step of our life.

Now, even though there is still a long road of recovery for Scott, we feel drawn to start helping others. While in the hospital Scott and I were able to join stroke support groups and it helped,especially me, with staying strong and pushing forward. We hope to give that type of encouragement and hope to others.


There is always hope.


Scott & Danielle Hawkins

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Lobby Day MVPs in the Spotlight

There were SO many amazing stories surrounding this year’s Hill Day that it was hard to narrow down our annual lobby day award winners. Not a bad problem to have! Please join us in congratulating these You’re the Cure MVPs, and then learn more about their stories in this video.

 

  • Science Advocate of the year – Dr. David Yu-Yiao Huang: Dr. Huang has been involved with AHA advocacy since 2003. From submitting expert written testimony and attending in-district meetings, to speaking before lawmakers, his passion for policy and his belief in the positive change policy can achieve has contributed significantly to big wins in North Carolina.
  • Volunteer Advocate of the Year – Theresa Conejo: Theresa has been one of the key proponents of Pennsylvania’s comprehensive smoke-free law. Last year, she signed a smoke-free op-ed which was picked up by major news outlets across the state. She also aggressively advocated for the proposed Clean Indoor Law. In addition, she recruits new You’re the Cure advocates at every opportunity. In fact, just recently, she signed up an additional 35 volunteers to join her in Pennsylvania’s smoke-free fight.
  • Survivor Advocate of the Year – Jim Bischoff: Jim’s own struggle with heart disease, as well as his experience with his son-in-law’s stroke, gives him a unique perspective to share during state and federal lobby days and meetings with lawmakers. His family history inspired him to provide leadership on stroke systems of care legislation. He also dedicates his time to tobacco issues, and attends in-district meetings with his lawmaker to discuss both of these important issues.
  • Youth Advocate of the Year – Cassidy Collins: Cassidy uses her story as a congenital heart survivor to illustrate the importance of AHA’s policy issues. At the age of 16, her resume is already quite impressive – she’s met with U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to advocate for tobacco control funding; she has been a top fundraiser for the Roanoke Heart Walk for two years; and she has applied to work as a youth advocate for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Check out a video below highlighting the award winners!

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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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