"Live Healthier, Live Longer," a new interactive web site that takes the guess-work out of lowering cholesterol for people with heart disease, was launched September 1, 1998 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) as a part of National Cholesterol Education Month. The purpose of the web site is to provide accurate, personally relevant information to help people with coronary heart disease (CHD) lower their LDL ("bad") cholesterol to the goal level of 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter).
"Recent studies have proven that people with CHD can prevent heart attacks and actually prolong their lives by lowering their blood cholesterol levels," says Dr. James Cleeman, coordinator of the National Cholesterol Education Program. "The goal of the web site is to transform this health message into simple and practical steps to success in cholesterol lowering."
To access the site, go to the NHLBI home page at www.nhlbi.nih.gov, look under "What's New," and click on the interactive site. It features activities to help people with CHD eat less saturated fat and cholesterol; become more physically active; lose weight, if overweight; and stick with cholesterol lowering medication if prescribed by their doctors. There is a Cyber Kitchen, a Virtual Grocery Store, a Cyber Cafe, a Diet Calculator and a Virtual Fitness Room.
- Enter their LDL cholesterol level and learn what their doctor may prescribe to lower it
- Get an estimate of their daily dietary allowances for saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol, calories, and sodium, based on their height, weight, age, sex and activity level
- Select all of a day's foods for meals and see a report of the amount of saturated fat, total fat, cholesterol, calories, and sodium for each meal and for the day. This is compared with their daily dietary allowances
- Find out how to read food labels in the grocery store
- Learn how to recognize serving sizes
- Get some heart-healthy recipes
- Understand how drugs lower cholesterol
- Take a cholesterol and heart IQ test
- Discover how physical activity helps them stay healthy
More than 13 million American adults have CHD. It is a major cause of disability and the number one killer of both women and men in the United States. Each year, almost 500,000 people die of CHD. About 1.25 million people have heart attacks every year, and about half of these occur in people who are known to have CHD.
Dr. Cleeman says more attention to cholesterol lowering is needed in high-risk people with CHD. An estimated 80 to 85 percent of people with CHD would benefit from cholesterol lowering by diet or drugs, but only one third to one half are receiving active treatment.
NHLBI launched the National Cholesterol Education Program in November 1985 to help reduce illness and death from CHD by reducing the number of Americans with high cholesterol.
Other health-focused web sites are encouraged to link to this site.