19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



Facebook    

 

SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace

 

 

 

 


powered by centersite dot net
Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Worry Less for Better HealthCan the Bacteria in Your Belly Ease Your Worrying Mind?AHA News: Need a Break? A Vacation Really Can Be Good for You -- If It's Done RightHealthy Food May Boost MoodAre DIY Sunscreens Dangerous?Millennials Believe 'Narcissist' Label, But Don't Like ItMore Back-to-Back Heat Waves Will Come With Climate ChangeBody Adapts, Recovers From Occasional 'Pigging Out,' Study FindsCBD -- It's Everywhere, But Does It Work?Stay Safe While Spring CleaningCover Up! Don't Soak Up Those Sun RaysWant to Save Money While Shopping? Leave Your Phone HomeThree Ways to Improve Focus and ConcentrationSunscreen Chemicals Enter Bloodstream at Potentially Unsafe Levels: StudyCould You Be Short on Vitamin B12?How to Tame Morning ChaosTailoring Exercise to Your AgeSchool Bullying's Impact Can Last a Lifetime: StudyWellness Programs Take Hold in American WorkplacesAmericans Sitting More Than Ever, and Tech Is to BlameVeggies, Fruits and Grains Keep Your Heart PumpingSkipping Breakfast Could Be a Bad Move for Your HeartMany 'Gen Xers' Desolate as They Navigate Adulthood: StudyHow to Make Your Workplace a Healthier OneEmbracing 'Oneness' Boosts Satisfaction With Life: StudyAre Workplace Wellness Programs Worth It?Common Sleep Myths Endanger Public HealthGet Back to Nature to Put Stress at BayScience Says: Smiling Does Bring a Mood BoostIs Your Smartphone Making You Fat?Those Whitening Strips May Damage Your TeethDietary Supplements Do Nothing for You: StudyVoice-Assisted Tech Can Be a Driving HazardWhen Using Moisturizers With Sunscreen, Don't Miss Around the EyesKindness: 12 Minutes to a Better MoodWhy Holding a Grudge Is Bad for Your HealthMove More, Live LongerDo You Live in One of America's 'Healthiest Communities'?A Good Spring Clean Can Help Tame Seasonal AllergiesAHA News: Culture, Paycheck, Neighborhood Key to Your Heart's HealthEye-Soothing Tips for Computer UsersWalk, Dance, Clean: Even a Little Activity Helps You Live LongerWhy Watch Sports? Fans Get a Self-Esteem Boost, Study Finds1 in 3 Young Adults Suffers From Loneliness in U.S.Time Change Tougher for Kids With Mental Health IssuesAHA News: Irregular Sleep Could Impact Your Heart HealthBeware of Drowsy Driving as Daylight Saving Time BeginsSleeping In on Weekends May Not Repay Your Sleep 'Debt'Health Tip: Travel Suggestions For Your EyesHow Color Can Help You De-Stress
VideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management

AHA News: Culture, Paycheck, Neighborhood Key to Your Heart's Health


HealthDay News
Updated: Mar 21st 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- Eating a low-fat diet, getting regular exercise and watching your weight can help lower risk for heart disease and stroke.

But environmental and cultural factors also make a difference. So can how much you make for a living, especially if it barely brings in enough to pay for housing, groceries or the electricity bill.

Social determinants of health are factors that influence where and how people live, learn, work and play. They provide context to a person's life and can play just as big of a role in affecting health as medications and physical lifestyle changes.

The new prevention guidelines developed by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recognize that "socioeconomic inequalities are strong determinants" of cardiovascular risk.

Healthcare providers need to address social determinants when working with patients just as much as they might address a smoking habit or strategies to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, said Dr. Michelle Albert, a member of the guideline writing committee.

"Social determinants must be part of the cardiovascular prevention conversation with patients. Doctors know these things are important but typically, they've just focused on traditional risk factors," she said.

In a pie chart of cardiovascular disease, "only about 20 percent of cardiovascular risk is genetics. The other 80 percent is either behavioral or environmental," said Albert, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and director of the Center for the Study of Adversity and Cardiovascular Disease.

"What we've done with our previous guidelines is focused on behaviors that are traditional risk factors when, in fact, social determinants are driving the show, especially for those communities where socioeconomic adversity and thus gaps in cardiovascular mortality persist," she said.

Social determinants of health influence a person's cardiovascular health factors and behaviors. For example, a person's neighborhood and how safe it feels can have an impact on the ability to both exercise and eat healthy, said Dr. Tiffany Powell-Wiley, chief of the Social Determinants of Obesity and Cardiovascular Risk Laboratory at National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

People who feel unsafe where they live may be more likely to stay home, resulting in less physical activity, she said.

"The feeling of being unsafe may cause you more stress and increase stress-related hormones," she said. "Those stress hormones may then promote weight gain. There's definite data to support a relationship between that feeling of safety and health markers like weight … and even blood pressure."

Allowing patients to put context to their lives can be the key to having them follow a healthcare provider's advice, Powell-Wiley said.

"If you live in a community where there are no sidewalks and there are no opportunities to be physically active, a physician telling you to exercise more may go in one ear and out the other," she said. "Or if you are told you need to eat a better diet, but you don't have any access to healthy foods in your community because the closest store is a convenience store or a gas station, the concept of eating healthy may not exist for you."

The new guidelines suggest ways for healthcare providers to embed social determinants into conversations about various risk factors. For example, when talking about diet modifications, "body size perception, as well as social and cultural influences, should be assessed," the guidelines say.

That's because some patients considered overweight on paper may think "their body looks perfectly fine" because of cultural beliefs and ideals, Albert said.

Taking a patient's lifestyle and background into consideration can be critical when trying to counsel people about lowering risks of cardiovascular disease, she said:

"Addressing social determinants can give you a bigger bang for your buck, likely, than using a pill."