Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Report Shines Light on Urgent Need for Lifestyle Medicine

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Healthways, Founding Member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, today unveiled the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being Report, ranking 190 communities nationwide on the impact of heart disease. The report shines a light on the urgent need for an evidence-based, lifestyle medicine-first approach to heart disease prevention, treatment and reversal.

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These survey results highlight that heart attacks impact the very soul of our communities and their residents. We must appeal to communities to rapidly and intensively structure lifestyle programs to restore the well-being of their residents.

Healthways, founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Corporate Roundtable, today announced the release of this year’s report in the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series. The report focuses on heart attack survivors in 190 communities nationwide, analyzing the impact of heart disease on health and productivity outcomes.

"These survey results highlight that heart attacks impact the very soul of our communities and their residents—attacking work life, family life, and mental health. We must appeal to communities to rapidly and intensively structure lifestyle programs to restore the well-being of their residents," said Cate Collings, MD, FACC, a cardiologist and board member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, emphasizing the urgent need to usher in a transformed approach to healthcare.

Gallup-Healthways research shows that many people who have had a heart attack may not be making the lifestyle changes that could prevent or reverse further cardiac disease.

“These data clearly show that having heart disease significantly impacts the quality of life, not just the length of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way—at least 95% of heart disease is preventable,” said Dean Ornish, MD, ACLM Board of Advisor member who was recognized by ACLM in 2015 as the Lifestyle Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award winner. “When individuals make comprehensive lifestyle changes—eat well, stress less, move more, love more – they are able to prevent and even reverse their condition.”

Dr. Ornish helped pave the way for lifestyle medicine to become the foundation of a transformed system of healthcare delivery—one focused on value and outcome. His 1990 landmark study, published in The Lancet, Can Lifestyle Change Reverse Coronary Heart Disease?, concluded that heart disease could be reversed without drugs or surgery.

In another paper titled Mostly Plants published in 2009 by The American Journal of Cardiology, Dr. Ornish chronicled evidence concluding that good nutrition – specifically a heavily whole food, plant-based dietary lifestyle – can halt and reverse the progression of even severe coronary artery disease, also treating hypertension, obesity, cholesterol and diabetes – some of the leading causes of premature death in this country.

“Many people tend to think of breakthroughs in medicine as new drugs, lasers, or high-tech surgical procedures,” said Ornish. “They often have a hard time believing that the simple choices can be as powerful as drugs and surgery, but they often are—sometimes, even better.”

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE
ACLM is the professional medical association for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system. More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanizing force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective desire to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the cause of disease. Join today at http://www.lifestylemedicine.org.

ABOUT HEALTHWAYS
Healthways, a Sharecare company, is a global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. Learn more at http://www.healthways.com.

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