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Mobile health tech can aid the elderly with heart disease

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Mobile health technology can help induce lifestyle behavior changes and improve medication adherence among older adults aged 60 and above with existing heart disease, said a statement by the American Heart Association.

The scientific statement, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, highlights research from 26 studies from the past 11 years that examined mobile health technology for secondary heart disease prevention in adults ages 60 and older with existing heart disease.

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People who used text messaging and website resource information reported improvement in physical activity and other lifestyle behavioral changes in just three months. Those using a mobile app or receiving a text messaging reminder showed significant improvements in medication adherence, the findings revealed.

“Wearable devices and mobile devices and applications play an important role because they can assist individuals in monitoring and tracking health behaviours and heart disease risk factors, referred to as the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7, to reduce their risk of a cardiac event and achieve ideal cardiovascular health,” said Erica N Schorr, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing.

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Nearly two in every three people with heart disease are 60 years old and over, and these are less likely to be physically active. Those who experienced as a heart attack or stroke, are at 20 times more at risk of future cardiac events compared to people without heart disease.

Cutting down on sedentary lifestyle, maintaining an optimal body weight and adopting a healthy diet are very important to curb heart ailments. Other factors such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol can be kept under control by timely use medications.

“This statement highlights the potential benefits that mobile health interventions can provide for monitoring, prompting, encouraging and educating older adults with cardiovascular disease,” Schorr added.

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