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ACSM In The News

ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.  

Expert Sees Ominous Cardiovascular Trends in Young Women

by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2011
Obesity, sedentary lifestyles translate into heart risks

ATLANTA – A keynote speaker at today’s American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition says heart health trends among today’s younger women are taking an unfavorable turn.

Nanette Wenger, M.D., says the combination of rising obesity levels and lack of exercise are causing the previously decreasing cardiovascular mortality trends in young women (and young men) to either flatten or rise – as opposed to older population segments, whose cardiovascular mortality rates are decreasing.

“It’s all about lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle,” Wenger said. “Overeating and not exercising are leading to increased diabetes, high blood pressure and unfavorable cholesterol levels. These make for a bad combination when it comes to having a healthy heart. It has been called ‘the leading edge of the storm.’”

In addition, women are at particular cardiovascular health risk because of a persistent misconception that heart disease is a “man’s disease.” It’s a myth that Wenger says still causes many women to not take the proper preventive and screening measures to ensure their tickers keep ticking for a long time to come.

Major lifestyle preventive measures for heart health include regular exercise; eating a healthy diet that includes lean proteins, grains, fruits and vegetables; quitting smoking; and weight reduction. ACSM’s recently updated Position Stand on weight management recommends at least 250 minutes of exercise per week for those wishing to lose weight or maintain weight loss.

The good news is that overall mortality in women due to cardiovascular death has been steadily declining since 2000 – although Wenger says it’s not necessarily due to prevention.

“The declines we’re seeing in heart disease mortality are mainly attributable to advances in modern medicine. Most women are still missing the key elements of prevention through living a healthy lifestyle.”

For basic health and prevention of chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, ACSM recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, like walking, per week, which is easily achievable in 30 minutes of exercise per day, five days per week.


The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

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