Archive for the ‘Hearth Health’ Category
For decades, the diagnosis of heart disease has been an afterthought in the area of women’s health. Conventional thought led us to believe that heart disease was an issue more for men than their female counterparts. In reality, 1 in 3 women die of heart disease every year. That’s one woman every minute, according to the American Heart Association.
Heart disease strikes more women than men and claims more lives than all cancers combined. Knowing your personal risk factors is the first step in preventing one’s personal risk of heart disease. Risk factors include having a sedentary lifestyle, having an elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Some women may also have a genetic predisposition to heart disease. Above all however, the one behavioral element that puts women, as well as men, at an elevated risk of heart disease is smoking.
The nicotine in cigarettes causes the user’s heart rate and blood pressure to elevate. Furthermore, the carbon monoxide in tobacco robs the smoker’s heart, brain and arteries of needed oxygen. Clotting risk is increased by tobacco because it damages the smoker’s blood vessels and makes their blood thicker. Individuals who smoke also have a decreased tolerance for physical activity which indirectly lowers an individuals HDL’s, the good cholesterol that helps the body manage the bad cholesterol (LDL’s). According to many researchers in the field of cardiology, smoking damages every tissue and organ in the human body.
This month, as we create awareness for heart disease, take action by eliminating a risk factor you can control, quit smoking. At Lebanon Family Health Services we are working with companies to implement tobacco free policies that include a research based tobacco cessation class for employees called Freedom From Smoking© and/or a “fax-to-quit” program. Services are free and are available at work sites. For more information, call Holly at 273-6741 ext. 310.
With over 4000 hazardous chemical components in secondhand smoke, it isn’t a surprise that the World Health Organization (WHO) found that secondhand smoke exposure is a major cause of lung cancer, coronary heart disease and cardiac death among non-smokers. Furthermore, WHO found that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke and that ventilation systems and designated smoking rooms do not provide effective protection to the public and company workers. The International Labour Organization found that each year 200,000 workers die because of exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace.
In recent years, many companies have seen the health and financial benefits of becoming a smoke-free workplace. As healthcare costs soar and as insurance policies charge higher rates to cover smokers, there has been a great benefit to businesses to change their policies regarding tobacco. Numerous studies have found a decline in hospital admissions for heart attacks. Among restaurant workers, there is a documented 26% decrease in respiratory symptoms. When smoke free workplace policies are implemented, there has been a 4% decrease in the number of smokers and a significant decrease in smoking among individuals who continue to smoke, according to the British Medical Journal. This decrease not only benefits the individual health of the workers, but saves on overall healthcare costs among those that participate in the company insurance plan.
Some of the most prevalent criticisms of tobacco free policies are that they will impact the companies “bottom line”. In reality, studies have found the opposite. Studies have found that when companies embrace smoke free policies they experience an increase in employee productivity, reduced sickness and reduced injuries. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that if all US workplaces were smoke free, it would save $280 million in medical costs in the first 7 years.
On November 16, we recognized the “Great American Smokeout”. This year, make a bold move and ensure that your work site is tobacco free. At Lebanon Family Health Services we are working with companies to implement tobacco free policies that include a research based tobacco cessation class for employees called Freedom From Smoking© and/or a “fax-to-quit” program. Services are free and are available at your work site. For more information, call Holly at 273-6741 ext. 310.