An estimated 75% of Americans seek medical advice from their doctors each year, confirming that health care workers wield significant influence over their patients' lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, physicians tend to underestimate their role as health counselors and don't always suggest controlling heart disease risk factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol and blood pressure, obesity, and inactivity.
The physician's important role in recommending lifestyle changes in addition to medical interventions is thoroughly explored in the headline article of the second issue of the new American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (AJLM) published by SAGE. The article is co-written by journal Editor-In-Chief James M. Rippe, MD, along with Theodore J. Angelopoulos, PhD, MPH, and Linda Zukley, MA, RN.
"Lifestyle interventions are highly effective at lowering risk for heart disease," write the authors. "The key concept is for health care workers to make a true commitment to learning how to incorporate these measures as a part of clinical practice to bring this valuable information to their patients."
Encouraging health care workers to influence their heart patients to control modifiable risk factors, especially since controlling the risks carries virtually no adverse side effects, fits perfectly with the mission of the new American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine of looking at both the medical and the lifestyle aspects of disease management.
The article, "Lifestyle Medicine Strategies for Risk Factor Reduction, Prevention, and Treatment of Coronary Heart Disease: Part II," published in the March/April 2007 issue of AJLM. Part I, published in the debut issue of AJLM, looked at coronary heart disease and how lifestyle changes, with proper pharmaceutical therapy, can lower the risks.
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