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Treatment Of Heart Patients Should Expand Beyond Measuring Physical Risk Factors

October 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Doctors and other healthcare providers should move beyond treating only the physical indicators of heart disease risk to helping people change unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, unhealthy body weight, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Physicians today tend to treat physical risk factors, known as biomarkers, that are easily measured through a blood sample or a blood pressure reading, but should be helping patients change these detrimental behaviors. The researchers suggested implementing the five “A’s” when dealing with patients: assess the risk behaviors for heart disease, advise change (e.g., weight loss, exercise etc.), agree on an action plan, assist with treatment, arrange for follow-up care.
B. Spring et al., "Better Population Health Through Behavior Change in Adults: A Call to Action", Circulation, October 07, 2013, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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