Erkki Vartiainen, MD, PhD of the North Karelia Project Presents Opening Keynote at Lifestyle Medicine 2016, Showcasing Finland's 80% Reduction in Heart Disease Rates

Share Article

North Karelia Project Co-principle Investigator, Erkki Vartiainen, MD, PhD, will present the opening keynote at Lifestyle Medicine 2016 at the Naples Grande Resort on Sunday evening, October 23. More than 600 medical professionals will learn about Finland’s lifestyle medicine-focused efforts, resulting in an 80% reduction in heart disease rates, adding fully ten years to life expectancy.

Health professionals are in a key positon in two ways: to support patients’ lifestyle changes in clinical practice and be active in policy level to support lifestyle changes on community, national and also international level.

The science that supports the efficacy of lifestyle medicine is evidenced through the 80% reduction in heart disease rates the resulted from Finland’s North Karelia Project. The project’s co-principle investigator, Erkki Vartiainen, MD, PhD, will present the Lifestyle Medicine 2016 opening keynote address Sunday evening, October 23 at the Naples Grande Resort in Naples, FL. Lifestyle Medicine 2016 is the annual conference of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM).

"These days, a lot of small trials making headlines propagate confusion about the key ingredients of lifestyle as medicine,” said ACLM President David Katz, MD. “There is no better remedy for that than a first-hand report of one of the greatest triumphs ever of lifestyle medicine at the level of a whole population, and no better person to deliver it than Dr. Erkki Vartiainen. As we celebrate 'healthy people, healthy planet,' the theme of this year’s conference,we will hear from Dr. Vartiainen about one of the best demonstrations of our ability to help people get to health the planet has to offer."

Dr. Vartiainen shared highlights of the North Karelia Project: “Cardiovascular mortality was highest in the world in an Eastern Province, North Kareli, in Finland in 1970’s. A community base program was started in 1972 to reduce the risk factors of blood cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking on a population level, focused on lifestyle changes. Mean serum cholesterol level reduced 21%, attributed mainly by dietary changes; blood pressure reduced 15% by slat reduction and improved treatment; and smoking reduced from 52% to 30% among middle age men. Coronary mortality has reduced 84%. Two thirds of the mortality decline was explained by risk factor changes and one third by improved treatment. After the first five years, the program was expanded to a national level. Lifestyle changes on community level were feasible; however, people’s lifestyle changes require strong support from different actors in a community to make healthier choices easier.”

Having built the case for lifestyle medicine outcomes and efficacy, the North Karelia Project can serve as a glowing example for the U.S. and all nations around the world, with Dr. Vartiainen emphasizing the significant role clinicians must play, “Health professional are in a key positon in two ways: to support patients’ lifestyle changes in clinical practice and be active in policy level to support lifestyle changes on community, national and also international level.”

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 Learn more about Lifestyle Medicine 2016 and the 2nd annual Healthcare Transformation Summit at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website