Donald Lloyd-Jones Receives AHA Chairman's Award
On November 14, 2010 Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones received the 2010 Chairman's Award, highest honor for volunteer services awarded by the American Heart Association (AHA). Dr. Lloyd-Jones (click here to read more) came to Northwestern in 2004 to work with Drs. Greenland and Bonow in the Department of Preventive Medicine. He is now the Chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine, medical director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's Center for Preventive Cardiology, interim director of the Clinical Trials Unit at Northwestern and associate professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
"Dr. Lloyd-Jones is being honored for his outstanding contribution to further the AHA's Strategic Impact Goals. Dr. Lloyd Jones is the lead author of the AHA 2020 Strategic Impact Goal that commits to improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent in the next decade while also reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent. The focus of the goal will be preventing heart disease and stroke by helping people identify and adopt healthier lifestyle choices. This will be the first time the AHA has adopted better health as a principal goal." [FirstScience.com]
Dr. Lloyd-Jones' work aims to improve quality of life of his patients by increasing physical activity, eating better, losing weight, quitting smoking, controlling cholesterol, managing blood pressure and reducing blood sugar, which he believes is the path to a longer and healthier life. When asked what is the role of preventive medicine in today's world, Dr. Lloyd-Jones replies:
"We actually know much of what we need to know to prevent most chronic diseases and conditions (cardiovascular disease, many cancers, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, hypertension) in the population. But we are terrible at applying this knowledge in clinical practice, and in motivating patients to adhere to treatment plans. We have also done a poor job of motivating local and national agencies and legislative bodies to use the power of public health policy to effect health promoting changes in this country. The Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern and the field in general have a lot to add to the armamentarium of prevention for patients and the population as a whole.
One of my favorite papers of recent years was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 by Earl Ford from the CDC and Simon Capewell from the UK. They explored the reasons for the sharp decline in coronary mortality rates observed in the US from 1980 to 2000. They found that medical/surgical interventions and medical therapies accounted for about half of the improvement, and population changes in behavioral factors and in the environment accounted for the other half. But there were ominous signs that the obesity epidemic was starting to undo these gains."