Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

Heart Health of Football Players Focus of Emory Expert Analysis

football250x250With the start of the American football season fast approaching, the health and wellness of players is top of mind. While most of the focus is on head and orthopedic injuries, heart health is also an important concern for these athletes.

Emory Heart & Vascular Center sports cardiologist and researcher Jonathan Kim, MD, is the author of an online American College of Cardiology (ACC) expert analysis of the heart and vascular health of elite level American football players.

Dr. Kim, an assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) in the Emory University School of Medicine, launched a sports cardiology clinic in 2014, evaluating and treating cardiovascular conditions specific to athletes of all ages and levels.

In the ACC article, entitled “Cardiovascular Issues in Elite American-Style Football Participants,” Dr. Kim examines key research findings over the last two decades related to cardiovascular outcomes and risk factors among these top athletes.

Highlights of Dr. Kim’s analysis include:

  • Although not as heavily publicized [as neurologic issues], long-term adverse cardiovascular outcomes have been demonstrated among retired, professional ASF participants.
  • To date, the compilation of evidence suggests elite-level ASF participants are at higher risk for the development of early hypertension. This risk may be greater among linemen.
  • Efforts aimed at identifying players with increased blood pressure and ensuring close monitoring of those athletes, as well as players deemed at high risk, should be considered.
  • Practitioners and athletic trainers involved in the care of ASF athletes should be aware of pre-hypertensive blood pressures measured during pre-season ASF physical assessments, and consider developing procedures for blood pressure monitoring and follow-up throughout the season.
  • Management strategies may be best focused on preventive measures such as limitations in sodium intake, minimization of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication use, focused overall dietary assessments, and perhaps alterations in training regimens with the inclusion of more aerobic-based exercise.

Dr. Kim emphasizes the need for more research in larger cohorts of football players (including high school players) to confirm current findings and learn more about the causes and exact timeline for these changes.

He has conducted his own published research among ASF participants cited within his analysis, including a 2015 study that found after completing one full season of college football, players demonstrate relatively stiffer arteries, a precursor to hypertension, compared to other non-athletic college students.

“Future studies will help us learn more about the causes of these observed changes – possibly diet, undiagnosed sleep apnea, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and intense isometric physiology are all potential mechanisms,” he says.



The Fraternal Order of Eagles Helps Emory Patients Take Steps Toward Heart Disease Prevention

Emory’s Heart Disease Prevention Program, HeartWise℠ , helps patients reduce their risk for heart disease, the number one cause of death among men and women in the U.S. The HeartWise℠ program serves not only patients who currently suffer from heart disease, but also aims to identify those who could be candidates for problems down the road (smokers, people who do not exercise, a person with high blood pressure to help them make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease before it starts.

“I thought: If I was lucky enough to live, I’d change, myself-I realized I could have a new life-new energy, new endurance, and feel better about myself.” A well put statement by Larry King after his 1987 heart attack.

Emory’s HeartWise℠ Heart Disease Risk Reduction Program assists patients in taking steps towards living more heart healthy lives by providing them with leading heart disease prevention methods  and technology.

With the help from the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Emory’s HeartWise℠ program patients are now able to enhance their heart disease prevention program with a brand new, Nu-Step cardio machine.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, “has provided support for medical centers across the country to build and provide research for medical conditions — raising millions of dollars every year to combat heart disease and cancer, help handicapped kids, uplift the aged and make life a little brighter for everyone.”

Emory Healthcare is extremely grateful for their service and contribution of the Nu-Step cardio machine to our Heart Disease Prevention Program.  Thanks to this generous donation from the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the patients of the Emory’s HeartWise℠ program are literally able to take new strides in their journeys to heart disease prevention and/or rehabilitation.

Mr. Merle Jensen, pictured below surrounded by staff and interns, is extremely pleased with the new, Nu-step cardio machine. “Patients are already requesting another machine, because of its continuous use since its arrival,” states Kathy Lee Bishop, MS, PT, CCS and Manager of the HeartWise℠ program, “I just smile”.

For more information on Emory’s HeartWise℠ Heart Disease Prevention and Risk Reduction Program, or The Fraternal Order of Eagles, check out our related resources.

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An Easy Heart Healthy Recipe for the Holidays

No Bake Breakfast Bar RecipeDuring the hectic holiday season take time to eat a healthy breakfast by preparing these heart healthy No Bake Breakfast Bars. You can find more information on these recipes and other weight management and heart healthy recipes from Emory Healthcare by visiting:

Recipe developed by Meagan Mohammadione, RD, LD, and is courtesy of the Emory Bariatric Center.

No Bake Breakfast Bar Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter such as almond or cashew butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or your favorite dried fruit, diced)
  • 5 cups high fiber cereal (we used Kashi Go Lean! Crisp cereal)

Recipe Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, pour in honey, vanilla and salt. Heat in the microwave until mixture is thin and watery, about 60 seconds. Add peanut butter and stir until it melts. Add dried fruit and cereal and combine until cereal is well coated. Line a baking dish with wax paper and spread cereal mixture evenly into pan and press firmly to set. Leave to cool overnight or place in refrigerator. When bars are hard, cut into squares.

Yield: 24, 2x1x1 inch bars

Nutritional Information Per Serving

  • Calories: 167
  • Fat: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 179 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 27 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 3.4 grams
  • Sugars: 18 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams

For other heart healthy recipes, visit Emory Healthcare’s Recipes for Wellness at We have recipes for appetizers, entrees, side dishes, soups and salads as well as desserts to keep your diet heart healthy during the holidays!

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