Program aims to help reverse unhealthy habits leading to heart disease

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. According to the World Heart Federation, heart disease claims the lives of approximately 17.5 million people a year, and that number is expected to rise to 23 million by 2030. In addition, heart disease and stroke cause a third of all deaths in women, world-wide. And here in Hawaii, more than 80 percent of our local population are at risk of developing heart disease.

Some of the most common risk factors include smoking, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Taking the steps to reverse these habits can be very challenging for many, but there programs available that can help, like 'Ekahi Ornish Lifestyle Medicine.

'Ekahi Ornish Lifestyle Medicine is the fastest growing Ornish program in the nation. It is a nine-week program that is proven to prevent, reduce, and reverse the effects of heart disease by helping motivated individuals address four key elements, including nutrition, exercise, stress management and group support. In just over two years, close to 1,000 Hawaii residents have graduated from the 'Ekahi Ornish program, experiencing overall health improvements, including significant decreases in blood pressure, weight loss, lower cholesterol, reduced use of medications, enhanced exercise capacity and more.

To learn more about heart disease and ways to prevent and reverse it, 'Ekahi Ornish Lifestyle Medicine hosts a monthly open house every first and third Wednesday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., and every second and fourth Tuesday from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the 'Ekahi Health Center at Waterfront Plaza. Or visit

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