Tag Archives: Blood Pressure

Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup shows African-Americans significantly more concerned about heart health

African American woman stretching before exercise

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A new survey by Mayo Clinic revealed that more than two-thirds of African-Americans are concerned about their heart health (71 percent), which is significantly more than Caucasian (41 percent) or Hispanic (37 percent) respondents. Respondents from the South (51 percent) were also significantly more likely to express concern than those in the Northeast (39 percent) or West (35 percent).

These findings were uncovered as part of the Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup, which first launched in January 2016 and provides a quick pulse on consumer health opinions and behaviors at multiple times throughout the year.

“The Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup helps us to better understand the health knowledge and practices of all Americans, beyond the patients that walk through our doors,” says John Wald, M.D., medical director for Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic. “With each survey, we’re able to pinpoint what we’re doing well as a nation and what needs improvement, so that we can create a dialogue about those important topics.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Kelly Reller, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

Search engines help consumers learn more, manage health conditions

While many people joke around about “Dr. Google,” survey respondents confirmed that Americans find general search engines to be the most helpful tool in learning more about health conditions (71 percent) and proactively managing their health (62 percent).

When it comes to knowledge of heart health, doctors (81 percent) were cited as having the biggest influence on consumer knowledge, followed by family members (63 percent). The most likely reasons to think about heart health include:

  • A family member or friend being diagnosed with heart disease (84 percent)
  • Visiting a primary care physician (80 percent)
  • Conversations with a significant other or children (69 percent)

1 in 4 has family history of heart disease before age 55

Nearly a quarter of respondents (24 percent) cited a family history of heart disease (i.e., heart attack, bypass surgery or stents before 55). This history impacted knowledge and behaviors for many respondents:

  • Eighty-five percent answered that they were more aware of the symptoms of a heart attack because of their family history.
  • Top lifestyle modifications due to family history of heart disease included making dietary changes (67 percent), monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol regularly (59 percent), and increasing exercise (51 percent).
  • Among baby boomers, 53 percent of those with a family history of heart disease answered that they took a daily aspirin, and the same percentage kept an aspirin with them at all times.

When asked what they do to help prevent heart disease, men (68 percent) were more likely than women (60 percent) to say that they exercise regularly, and women (68 percent) were more likely than men (58 percent) to answer that they eat heart-healthy foods.

“Knowledge is power,” says Dr. Wald. “You can manage your risk for heart disease by taking proactive steps, such as improving your diet, exercising regularly, and keeping a check on your cholesterol and blood pressure. To top it off, Mayo Clinic now offers a blood test that can predict the likelihood of having a heart attack within one year, which helps us intervene early and prevent a heart attack before it happens.”

Click to see the entire National Health Checkup infographic.

Women exercise for weight loss; men exercise for recreation

The survey also explored healthy behaviors, such as exercise, revealing that men and women have different motivators. Women (70 percent) are more likely than men (60 percent) to exercise for weight loss or management; whereas, men (59 percent) are more likely than women (45 percent) to exercise for recreation. Less than half of respondents answered that they knew what their target heart rate should be during exercise. Maintaining a target heart rate can reduce the risk of overtraining or not training enough.

Job and/or school ranks as top stressor for Americans

Unrelieved stress can damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease. When asked to pick the one factor that contributed the most to their level of stress over the past year, respondents were most likely to answer their job and/or school (29 percent):

  • Baby boomers (17 percent) were more likely than millennials (10 percent) to cite politics as a top stressor.
  • Hispanic respondents (41 percent) were more likely to answer job and/or school than Caucasians (27 percent) or African-Americans (18 percent).
  • African-American respondents (20 percent) were more likely to list health issues as their primary cause of stress than Caucasians (10 percent) or Hispanics (4 percent).

“Our third National Health Checkup revealed that African-Americans not only are more concerned about their heart health, but they also experience significantly more stress as a result of their health issues,” says Dr. Wald. “It is clear that we need to help empower all Americans, and in particular those who are most concerned about their heart health, to help manage their risk. Discuss these concerns with your doctor, and know your family history.”

###

About the Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup
The Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup was conducted through an ORC International Telephone CARAVAN survey of 1,005 adults living in the continental U.S. and was conducted Dec. 15-18, 2016. To learn more, visit healthcheckup.mayoclinic.org.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

Housecall: Influenza is here

a sick little boy lying in bed, with red cheeks and a thermometer in his mouth, hugging a teddy bearTHIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
Influenza: Who is at risk?
If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, now’s the time. Influenza has been spreading in the U.S., and deaths from the infection are at epidemic levels.

Pneumonia: Who is at risk?
Cases of pneumonia are spreading across the country, but vaccines are available. Have you received yours?

EXPERT ANSWERS
Blood pressure: Can it be higher in one arm?
Find out why a significant difference in blood pressure readings between arms could be a concern.

Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
Not getting enough shut-eye can affect your immune system, increasing your risk of getting a cold or other viral illness. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. Learn how lack of sleep can make you sick.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Corns and calluses: Lifestyle and home remedies
Acute sinusitis: Symptoms and causes
Hearing loss: Risk factors 
Slideshow: 10 great health foods

HEALTHY RECIPES
New York strip steak with whiskey-mushroom sauce
Stuffed quinoa peppers
Southwestern vegan bowl
Parmesan roasted cauliflower

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Is your diet hurting your heart?
When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, you may have high triglycerides. The higher your triglycerides, the higher your risk of heart disease. The solution? Healthier habits. Choose healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Scale back your portion sizes. Include physical activity in your daily routine.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

NOW BLOGGING
Nutrition-wise: Is it time for an oil change?
Americans are eating more omega-6 fatty acids, and the rate of obesity is climbing. Is there a link?

Receive a free e-subscription to Housecall and other health newsletters.

Housecall: Jump-start your day with a healthy breakfast

a-family-at-the-breakfast-table-smiling-at-one-another-and-enjoying-healthy-food-original

THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
Healthy breakfast: Quick, flexible options
Eating breakfast jump-starts your day and may even help your overall health, so don’t skip it because you’re short on time. Give these fast morning meals a try.

Vaccines for adults: Which do you need?
Immunizations aren’t just for kids. Grown-ups need certain shots, too. Besides getting the annual flu vaccine, are you up to date?

EXPERT ANSWERS
High blood pressure and cold remedies: Which are safe?
Over-the-counter cold medicines aren’t off limits if you have high blood pressure, but it’s important to make careful choices.

Stool color: When to worry
If your stool is a different color than normal, find out the role that diet has to play.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Tips for staying supplement savvy
Obstructive sleep apnea
Video: Bent-over row with dumbbell
Joint pain

HEALTHY RECIPES
Crispy potato skins
Breakfast burrito
Chicken and spinach calzones
Baked apples with cherries and almonds

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Blood pressure tip: Get more potassium
Want to lower your blood pressure? Consume less sodium and more potassium. Sodium increases your blood pressure. Potassium can minimize the damage by lessening the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Many fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium, including bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe, spinach, peas and tomatoes.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

NOW BLOGGING
Don’t believe everything you see about cancer ‘cures’

Cancer scams abound online. What’s legit and what could be potentially dangerous? Ask yourself these questions.

Receive a free e-subscription to Housecall and other health newsletters.