US News & World Report: The Ornish Program is #1 For Heart Health (For Seven Straight Years)

Robert Walker, Program Director at ‘Ekahi Ornish Lifestyle Medicine
Photo: Heart Healthy Vegetables

Content adapted from Ornish Living Magazine

If you or a loved one suffers from heart disease, you’re not alone. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Hawaii – with over 18,000 hospitalizations per year, accounting for almost a quarter of all healthcare expenditures in the state.

Heart disease is a tough diagnosis to live with. Though the mortality rate for heart attack continues to decrease, there is room for improvement in the quality of life of heart attack survivors. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association noted that heart attack sufferers were less likely to stay employed, more likely to suffer chronic depression, and were at a much higher risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes and stroke.

But studies also show that with lifestyle changes, those with heart disease can reclaim their quality of life. The science behind heart disease is complex, but generally patients who participated in regular exercise and stress management, as well adopted a diet rich in plants and low in added fat – saw reductions in their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine combines exercise, stress management, emotional support, and plant-based nutrition into a program that has helped thousands of cardiac patients in Hawaii start their journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle. It focuses on sustainable change, and participants enter the program in support groups that help foster a community of well-being. Today, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine is the leading intensive cardiac rehabilitation program in the nation. For the seventh consecutive year, the program was voted by US News and World Report as the best diet for those with heart disease.

“I hope this will increase awareness of the power of lifestyle changes to reverse and prevent heart disease and many other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Ornish. “While the science is complex, our application of it is both straightforward and practical. The more closely people follow our program, the more they improve—at any age.”

The ‘Ekahi Ornish Program was offered by ‘Ekahi Health—which provides comprehensive community-based care focusing on primary care and prevention and wellness. Learn more about the ‘Ekahi Wellness Program