MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, account for seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year. Although they are among the most common health problems, they are also among the most preventable.

The trend toward prevention is increasing exponentially, as the cost of healthcare has been shown to link directly with the prevalence of these diseases. Lifestyle changes, which include diet, weight loss and physical activity, can help individuals significantly reduce their risk of developing chronic disease.

To impact this trend, The Wellness Program at WVU Health Sciences is offering “The Spectrum,” a six-week educational program based on the best-selling book and research of Dr. Dean Ornish.

The program was designed for individuals who want to prevent disease, reduce the risks for developing a chronic condition or learn to adopt lifestyle changes that can help manage diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. This program provides a personalized approach to customize a way of eating, managing stress and exercise that is based on each individual’s desires, needs and genetic predispositions. Spectrum helps people identify where they are on the health continuum, offering them a full range of optimum lifestyle choices.

“This program combines the tenets of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease and ‘The Spectrum,’” Dave Harshbarger, Ornish program director, said. “The resulting program serves as a powerful change tool for individuals who may or may not have heart disease or other chronic conditions but want to take a proactive approach to their health to turn back the clock on metabolic changes that may predispose them to disease. It demonstrates how to personalize an optimal way of living based on individual health goals, needs and preferences.”

Classes begin Tuesday, June 19 and meet for six consecutive Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at WVU Healthcare’s Ruby Memorial Hospital. For more information, call The Wellness Program at 304-293-2520.
For more information: Angela Jones, News Service Coordinator, 304-293-7087
dh/asj: 05-30-12