Courtney A. Griffin ~ Writer | Designer| Social Media Junkie | Soon to be entrepreneur

The life of a Michigan State University College Girl, turned Chicago Native. Continue the journey with me!

WebMD How to Wreck You Heart, An Analysis

When I need to find health related information, I generally go to WebMD.  This website serves to provide creditable and easy to understand patient-based health information. WebMD serves as a central hub for any medical or health related research you may want to find. The article, (How to Wreck Your Heart: What not to do for your Heart’s Health) was published on January 10th, 2012 by freelance health and science reporter, Shahreen Abedin. This article looks at heart disease in a different light; heart disease is a serious concern of many Americans as many people are dying from it each year. The article’s intent is to tell readers what not to do for your heart’s health; the author does so by telling you how in fact to wreck your heart. She showcases many things I’m sure many Americans do on a regular basis nothing thinking that it affects their overall health specifically their heart.

WebMD has a small Senior Staff and Editorial Team with only 9 individuals and a growing list of freelance colleagues across the country ranging from journalist to actual MD’s. Shahreen Abedin has previous experience on numerous well-known and well trusted sites including Medicine Net, Time magazine and many other health magazines. Before writing freelance for WebMD she was the Senior Medical Director at CNN. Oddly enough, she is also a New York attorney, who is currently not practicing and focusing on spreading healthcare news to the world. Elizabeth Klodas is the editor of the article, she is also not a part of the WebMD Senior Staff or Editorial team but is a Cardiologist and Founder of a Cardiovascular Imaging company, Cardiovascular Imaging Consultants. She has a strong background in heart disease and her main focus is prevention. Although her expertise is the sciences, she is also writer and author of the book, Slay the Giant: The Power of Prevention in Defeating Heart Disease, a guide for understanding and improving overall heart health.

The (How to Wreck Your Heart) article is found within the Heart Disease Health Center Tools and Resources box. There are similar articles within the tools and resources box that pertain to heart disease and ways to maintain good health including Exercising for a Health Heart and 15 Tips to Lower Cholesterol. The page also has multiple places where readers and visitors can sign-up to receive emails and newsletters from WebMD. There are also a couple rotating advertisements including the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Health Careers at Capella University these are focused toward the general audience of WebMD. Individuals who are interested in health and may be considering health careers and individuals who care about health and may be willing to donate to health cause.

This article is very informal; it is obvious that the intended audience for this article is someone who is or maybe at risk for heart disease. The intended audience may also be someone who knows someone very dear to them who may be suffering from heart disease and wondering what they could do to help. The article gives step by step instructions on what not to do if you’re trying to prevent heart disease. It is clearly very medical based and although it does not include reference to other publications, it does quote numerous individuals, including their health related credentials.  “When you toss the smokes, your heart risk goes down within just a few days of quitting. Within a year, your risk is cut by half. After 10 years of living smoke-free, it’s as if you never smoked at all, says Nieca Goldberg, MD, Cardiologist and Medical Director of the New York University Women’s Heart Program.” Here Dr. Goldberg is telling specific facts and why you should listen to her. Her title as a Medical Director gives her authority and shows her connection to heart disease.

The step-by-step guide is very inviting; the information is presented in a manner that anyone could understand. The guide is also easy to skim for someone who may not have a magnitude of time to read for specifics. In my opinion, the idea of numbering the steps was amazing and very thought out, very rarely are people willing read a long text heavy passage for leisure. The article is written as what to do “if” you want to have heart disease. “7.Forget your growing waistline — just buy some bigger pants.”  The article also highlights keywords that may deserve further clarification. These words are not uncommon words, but are other health conditions that may relate to heart disease.

My favorite part about this article is that it is very patient-based.  As a writer, I am very interested in making information for patients as easy to read as possible. The information given is not intimidated and is simply meant to inform an audience. As a young woman with a heart condition, this article was informative to me. I was diagnosed with a Mild Mitral Valve Prolapse my senior year in high school and ever since have been interested in heart disease. I feel like the writer was speaking directly to me and although a writer must be very careful when writing in second person and speaking directly to the audience, here it is ideal. I felt like I was being directly spoken to by a physician or a friend who cares deeply about me. This approach is generally more widely accepted versus a highly technical article trying to do the same or even worse, use scare tactics.



Filed under: Health, Personal, , ,

Red Meat May Boost Women’s Heart Disease Risk

Taken from:  Henry Ford, Womens Newsletter

I saw this article and I had to share it.

Eating fish, poultry, nuts and low-fat dairy lowers the chances, study shows

MONDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) — Women who eat a lot of red meat may be increasing their risk of developing heart disease, Harvard researchers report.

Substituting fish, poultry, low-fat dairy and nuts for red meat can significantly reduce that risk, however, the study authors suggest.

“This study is one of many showing a link between eating red meat, processed meat and full-fat dairy products, and heart disease,” said Samantha Heller, a nutritionist and exercise physiologist.

It seems obvious that people should reduce their intake of meat and dairy foods. “But there are many people who feel it is almost impossible to give up or limit butter, steak, ham and cheese,” she said. “Americans are also concerned with getting enough protein. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] says that most Americans have plenty, if not a surplus, of protein in their diet.”

If people looked at this as a matter of simple swaps, it may be easier to make some healthy changes, she added.

“So, instead of a ham-and-cheese sandwich for lunch, have a peanut butter-and-banana sandwich. Jump in the Meatless Monday trend, and have whole-grain pasta primavera for dinner on Monday. Make Sunday’s chili vegetarian, with lots of vegetables and beans. Try a veggie burger on a whole-wheat bun for your cookout. Swap cheese and crackers for low-fat cheese and apple slices,” Heller suggested.

The report is published in the Aug. 16 online edition of Circulation.

For the study, a team lead by Dr. Adam M. Bernstein, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, collected data on 84,136 women, aged 30 to 55, who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study over 26 years, from 1980 to 2006.

Over that time, there were 2,210 nonfatal heart attacks and 952 deaths from heart disease, the researchers noted.

Bernstein’s group found that women who ate the highest amount of red meat were at the highest risk for heart disease. However, eating poultry, fish and nuts was associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

In fact, compared to one serving a day of red meat, women who ate one serving a day of other protein-rich foods had a:

  • 30 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of nuts.
  • 24 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of fish.
  • 19 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of poultry.
  • 13 percent lower risk of heart disease if they ate one serving of low-fat dairy.

“You don’t need to have hot dogs, hamburgers, bologna or pastrami,” Bernstein said in a news release from the journal’s publisher.

“Although this study included only women, our overall knowledge of risk factors for heart disease suggests that the findings are likely to apply to men as well,” he added.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that “a number of prior observational studies have explored the complex relationships between various food types in the diet and the long-term risk of coronary heart disease.”

While most studies have shown that fish intake is associated with decreased risk for coronary heart disease, the findings regarding red meat consumption and risk have been mixed. Some have shown no increased risk, others have found the risk is only associated with processed meat, and in others a relationship was seen only with total red meat consumption, he explained.

This new observational study of women found that higher intake of red meat was associated with higher risk of heart disease.

“However, it is important to acknowledge that this is an observational study, rather than a prospective, randomized clinical trial. Whether a shift in protein source in the diet would actually reduce coronary heart disease events remains to be demonstrated,” Fonarow said.

More information

For more information on diet and heart disease, visit the American Heart Association.

Filed under: Health, Personal, , , , ,

Courtney A.Griffin

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