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Here are some disturbing statistics published by the American Heart Association.  Much of this is taken from Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2009 Update.

Did you know?

*  Nearly 2,400 Americans die of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) each day, an average of one death every 37 seconds.

*  Preliminary mortality data for 2006 show that CVD accounted for 34.2% of all 2,425,900 deaths in 2006, or 1 of every 2.9 deaths in the United States.

*  Good news:  From 1995 to 2005, death rates from CVD declined by 26.4%.

* Cardiovascular disease claims about as many lives each year as cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents and diabetes mellitus combined.

*  Half of adults 50 and younger with low 10-year risk of  CVD have high lifetime risk (News Release Jan. 13, 2009).

*  One in three female adults has some form of cardiovascular disease.

*  Since 1984, the number of CVD deaths for females has exceeded those for males.

*  In 2005, CVD was the first listed diagnosis of 3,023,000 females discharged from short-stay hospitals.  Discharges include people both alive, dead or of unknown status.

*  More than 150,000 Americans killed by CVD in 2005 were less than 65 years of age.

*  In 2009, an estimated 785,000 Americans will have a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 will have a recurrent attack.  It is estimated that an additional 195,000 silent first myocardial infarctions occur each year.

*  Each year, about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.  On average, every 40 seconds someone in the US has a stroke.  Good news: From 1995 to 2005, the stroke death rate fell 29.7% and the actual number of stroke deaths declined 13.5%.


Are you at risk for heart disease?  Do you know what to do in the event of a heart attack?  Are you up to date on the latest CPR Myths & Tips?

Read 5 Ways to Celebrate American Heart Month for more information on how to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Here’s a Power Point Presentation for 2009 American Heart Org Stats in case you want to present these facts to your family, school or group.

 Here is a summary of “Risk Factors for Heart Disease” from the American Heart Association:

* Diabetes Mellitus – At least 65% of people with diabetes mellitus die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.   Let Allegro help manage your diabetes with low cost Diabetes Supplies.

 * High Blood Cholesterol and Other Lipids – High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels of less than 40mg/dL are associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.  Determine your cholesterol quickly and easily with a Home Cholesterol Test Kit.

* High Blood Pressure – About 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% who have a first stroke and 74% who have Congestive Heart Failure have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg.  Do you know your blood pressure?  Take it anytime, anywhere with your own blood pressure monitor

* Metabolic Syndrome – Defined as having three or more of the following abnormalities:

– Waist circumference greater than 102 cm (40 inches) in men and 88 cm (35 inches) in women.

– Triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher.

– High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level less than 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women.

– Blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher or drug treatment for hypertension.

– Fasting plasma glucose level of 100 mg/dL or higher.

Men and women with the MetS were approximately 1.5 and 2 times more likely to develop CHD. Among the components of MetS, elevated blood cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol exhibited the strongest associations with CHD. Similar associations were found between the MetS and incident ischemic stroke.

Overweight and Obesity – You are considered overweight if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 and higher. You are considered obese if your BMI is 30 and higher.  Get weight loss help!

Physical Inactivity – The relative risk of coronary heart disease associated with physical inactivity ranges from 1.5 to 2.4, an increase in risk comparable to that for high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or cigarette smoking.  Get your heart pumping with these popular exercise/fitness products.

Tobacco – a whole lot of bad news for smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke:

– From 1997-2001, an estimated 438,000 Americans died each year of smoking-related illnesses; 34.7 percent of these deaths were cardiovascular-related.

– An estimated 35,052 nonsmokers die from coronary heart disease (CHD) each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

– One-third of those who receive percutaneous coronary artery vascularization are current smokers, and 50-60 percent continue to smoke after the procedure.

– Cigarette smoking remains a major cause of stroke in the United States. The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between smoking and subclinical atherosclerosis.

There’s hope yet:  The 2004 Health Consequences of Smoking Report of the Surgeon General states that the risk of stroke decreases steadily after you quit smoking. Former smokers have the same risk as nonsmokers after five to 15 years.

– A study of women below age 44 found there was a strong dose-relationship for MI, with a risk of 2.5 for those smoking one to five cigarettes per day, rising to 74.6 for those smoking more than 40 cigarettes per day, compared with nonsmokers. – Another study on female smokers found the highest risk (6.8) for MI was in women younger than 55 years of age.

If you are at risk for heart disease or stroke, know that there are ways to manage these risk factors.  Please talk to you doctor about your concerns. 

Educate yourself and spread the word to your friends and family!  Read Staggering Heart Facts, Heart Attack/Stroke Warning Signs: Men vs. Women and  CPR Myths, Tips & Updates

Valentine’s Day and President’s Day aren’t the only holidays we’ll be celebrating this month. February is American Heart Month! Cross my heart.

It seems that matters of the heart are quite serious. So serious that every year since 1963, Congress has required the President to proclaim February ‘American Heart Month’.  The American Heart Association helps to draft this proclamation and get it signed.  Who knew?

Even so, after 45 years of ‘proclaiming’, cardiovascular disease remains the number 1 killer (including stroke) in our nation today. Let’s join President Obama and the American Heart Association’s plight to fight heart disease and raise awareness, shall we?

Here’s how:

1. Get Heart Smart. Like the American Heart Association (AMA) says, “learn and live”. Did you know that the death rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD) is higher for females than males? And that the warning signs of a heart attack may be different for men and women?  Read Staggering Heart Facts and Heart Attack & Stroke Warning Signs: Men vs Women.

2. Check yourself. According to the AMA, if you’ve made it to middle age (eg, 50) and you’re a non-smoker without high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes then congratulations!  You can look forward to: a substantially longer life; lower risk for CVD; lower risks for CVD death and non-CVD death; better health-related quality of life in older age; and, substantially reduced Medicare expenditures. Start monitoring your cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels now. They’re sneaky and you might not even know you’re in trouble. The good news is, they are manageable with help from your doc. If you smoke, quit it. It’s gross and stinky and stupid and so uncool,  unlike you.  Here is a List of Heart Attack & Stroke Risk Factors and Guidelines.

Products to help you measure and track from home:  cholesterol test kit, blood pressure monitors and diabetic meters & test kits.   Monitor your heart health here.

3.  Get Heart Healthy.  Eating right, staying fit and managing your weight will go a long way to keeping a heart attack at bay.  Learn how here.  Get started with  heart rate monitors.

4.  Spread the Word.  As with all diseases, I believe that awareness is half the battle.  You could save someone’s life by sharing your knowledge about heart disease with your family, friends, schools, social groups, community groups.  Even if it is just in casual conversation, try to work in “have you had your blood pressure checked lately?”  or “did you know that… “.  The AMA asks you to be part of the cure.  Become an advocate!  Another way to spread the word is to get involved with local heart charities.  You can volunteer at hospitals, deliver leaflets door to door, start your own campaign or attend charity events.  Here are some specific ways to give.

5.  Cover your bases.  Do you know what to do in the event of a heart attack?  Do you know how to do CPR? Does your school, home, company and shopping mall have an Automated External Diffibrilator (AED)?  They are so affordable now, there is no excuse.  If you or a loved on is at risk for a heart attack you may also consider getting a 911 Medical Alert System

See all Diagnostic Products.

If you’ve read all of these articles and you crave more, visit the American Heart Association website.

Happy American Heart Month!  Please take care of yourself.  We heart you.


For many, this is a financially difficult holiday so I am proposing that we all gift “mindfully”. Pick gifts that your loved ones can really put to use – something that fits their lifestyle, ability, or hobby.

When they open it, it will be obvious that you had them in mind when you chose their special present. And your gift will be especially appreciated if it improves their health, comfort, independence or mobility.

So grab your list and see if you can fit each person into a category below. You’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect gift.

Shop for everyone – fitness buffs, kids, skiers, snorers, active teens, diabetics, new mom’s, seniors, wheelchair users and more!

Aging Seniors

UpEasy Lifting Cushion

Card Player Card Holders

3-Wheel Drive Hawk Scooter

Car Caddie Helping Hand

Suction Cup Grab Bars

Folding Shopping Cart

Tek Pal Large Button TV Remote

Light Relief – Light Therapy

Teak Spa Shower Chair

Portable Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor

See all Daily Living Aids


AccelWell Travel Pouch

Paraffin Heat System

Medi-Fridge Micro Fridge

Diabetic Crew Socks

Awesome Diabetic Shoes

See all Diabetic Supplies

Fitness Gurus & Athletes

X2 Vest Weighted Walking Vest – 12 lb 

Lex Loops Exercise Band

Heart Rate Monitor

Complete Yoga Kit with Travel Bag

3300P Body Gym Elite Pilates Trainer

ProStretch Lower Leg Stretching System

Power Wheel II Core Trainer

Perfect Pushup

Bodyblade Classic Kit Fitness Trainer

Doorway Pull Up Bar

Personal PowerBlock Dumbbell Set

iJoy Ride by Human Touch

Mini Stepper Exerciser

BOSU Sport Balance Trainer

See all Exercise/Fitness


Easi-Grip Gardening Set

Gardener’s Easy-Up Kneeler and Seat

Easi-Grip Long Reach Gardening Set

See all Yard Equipment


Power Swing Trainer Golf Gym

Superfeet Black Insoles for Golf Shoes

Bionic Golf Glove

Wobble Board Balance Trainer


Chillow Pillow Cooling Sensation Pillow


Cool Care Comfort System Chillow Pak


Indo Board Balance Board

TRIKKE T5 for Kids

Hop Balls

Pink Lady Pedal Car

Police Pedal Car

Radio Flyer Little Red Scooter

See all Gifts for Kids

New Parents and Moms-to-Be

Bounce-a-Bye Baby Ball

InStep Quick N’ Ez Bike Trailer

Safari Jogging Stroller

Comfort Body Pillow

Magentic Safety Magnet – Emergency Memo Board

See all Maternity Care


Deep Kneading Rechargeable Hand Held Massager

Ultra Soft Plush Massaging Slippers for Women

Spacells Facial Sponge

HydraGel Infrared Massager

Alpaca Fur Fuzzy Slippers

Alpaca Fur Blanket

Alpaca Fur Pillow

Supracor St. Tropez Massage Sandals

iJoy 130 Robotic Massage Chair

Stimulite Bath Mitt

Stimulite Bath Pillow

Thermal Spa Bath Mat Massage Pad

Superfeet Berry Insoles for Women

Original Backnobber

Hand-Held Shower Massager

Soapy Soles Elite 3-in-1 Foot Care System

Spa Petite Personal Paraffin Wax Bath

Eye Pillow with ergoBeads

See all Pamper Products


Infrared Therapeutic Pet Bed

Canine Cooler Dog & Pet Bed


The Boyfriend Pillow


iJoy Board Electric Balance Trainer

Fitball Balance Disc

Indo Board Balance Board

Superfeet Performance Green Insoles


Trikke Skki

Superfeet Performance Green Insoles

Superfeet Wintergreen Insoles for Skiing, Snowboarding & Hiking

Wobble Board Balance Trainer

Hand Warmers

Peel-n-Stick Body Warmers


The Snore Wizard

Better Sleep Pillow – Side Sleeper

Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock w/Bed Shaker

Snore-No-More Anti Snoring Pillow

See all Snoring Products

Sweetie Pies

Heart-Shaped Digital Picture Keychain

Sonic Boom Sweetheart Alarm Clock

Alpaca Fur Teddy Bear

Alpaca Fur Fuzzy Slippers

Alpaca Fur Blanke


Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock w/Bed Shaker

TRIKKE Convertible

Doorway Pull Up Bar

Vew-Do Balance Board

Indo Board Balance Board


Personal Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer

Traveller Deluxe Neck Pillow

Aqua Bell Travel Weight ComboSet

Traveling Bed Rail

Portable Vibrating Travel Alarm Clock

Visually Challenged

Large Button TV Remote Control

Deluxe Framed Page Magnifier

Low Vision Watch

Jumbo Buttons Speakerphone

See all Low Vision Products

Wheelchair and Walker Users

Beverage Holders

Sheepskin Arm Rests

Sheepskin Seat Pad

Packs and Pouches

Wheelchair Desks

See all Wheelchair Accessories

See all Walker Accessories

I hope this helps you pick the perfect Christmas gift from AllegroMedical.com. See our entire Gift Ideas Category for more ideas and to shop by price range. Feel free to add a comment about the list and suggest other products and “types”. We love to hear from you.

A Verry Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone from your Allegro Family. We appreciate your business and your referrals.


On the road, in the air, or when you arrive, these popular travel products can make your holiday or winter travel a little easier. They also make great gifts!

Travel Easy

Travel Fit

Travel Smart

Travel Safe

Travel Well

Travel Kids

The Allegro family wishes you safe and comfortable travel this holiday season. And, as always, we thank you for your business.

Want to save some money on your next family vacation? Check out these 15 Money-Saving Travel Tips.

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November is American Diabetes Month

Do you know someone with diabetes? Chances are, with an estimated 20.8 million diabetics (that’s 7% of the population) in the U.S., someone close to you is afflicted with the disease. With that many Americans affected and another 54 million people at risk, it is important that we are all aware of the causes and effects of diabetes, and what we can do to prevent the disease. American Diabetes Month was created to raise awareness of the disease itself, and of the importance of proper diabetes care. Here is some information on diabetes. For more, go to “http://www.diabetes.org”, home of the American Diabetes Association.

What is Diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association describes diabetes as: “a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.”

Types of Diabetes

There are several types of diabetes that have different effects on the body, and therefore require different care. In Type 1 diabetics, the pancreas does not produce insulin. In order for the body to convert sugars and starches into energy, the insulin needs it to be replaced with injections. Type 1 diabetes is generally diagnosed in children and young adults, and includes less than 10% of all diabetics.

In Type 2 diabetes, usually the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, and the cells do not take in enough glucose. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be controlled with diet and exercise. If this is not enough to bring the glucose level down to normal, there are several medications that may do the trick.

Diabetes Medications

  • Sulfonylureas and meglitinides stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to release more insulin.
  • Biguanides such as Metformin lower blood glucose levels by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. Metformin also makes muscle tissue more sensitive to insulin so glucose can be absorbed.
  • Thiazolidinediones such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone help insulin to work better in muscle and fatty tissues and reduce glucose production in the liver.
  • DPP-4 inhibitors prevent the breakdown of GLP-1, a naturally occurring compound in the body that reduces blood glucose levels. By interfering in the process that breaks down GLP-1, DPP-4 inhibitors allow it to remain active in the body longer, lowering blood glucose levels only when they are elevated.
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors Acarbose (brand name Precose) and meglitol (Glyset) block the breakdown of starches such as bread and pasta in the intestine, and slow the breakdown of some sugars. This action slows the rise in blood glucose levels after a meal.
  • Diabetes medications can be taken alone or in different combinations, in addition to exercise and proper diet to achieve the right glucose levels in Type 2 patients.

    In all types of diabetes the blood glucose levels are too high. Therefore, blood glucose monitoring is the best way to keep diabetes in check. In addition to standard glucose monitoring and fasting tests which give current glucose levels, there is the hemoglobin A1C. The A1C test is said to have revolutionized diabetes care because it provides a “big picture” of glucose levels, giving a two to three month average. This average can help doctors to assess proper medication and diet for diabetics.

    Symptoms of Diabetes

    Untreated diabetes causes symptoms related to elevated blood sugar levels, such as increased urination, weight loss, fatigue and nausea, and can lead to infections of the bladder or skin. The disease is usually diagnosed with a glucose fasting test in a doctor’s office.

    Complications of Diabetes

    Diabetes can lead to chronic eye and kidney problems and nerve damage, all resulting from microvascular disease. In addition, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) caused by diabetes can lead to heart problems and strokes.

    Prevention of Diabetes

    It is possible to prevent or at least delay the onset of diabetes. Glucose levels that are higher than normal can be brought down with exercise and proper diet. According to the American Diabetes Association, in a recent Diabetes Reduction Program study, “just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, coupled with a 5-10% reduction in body weight, produced a 58% reduction in diabetes.”

    To find out if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test.

    Diabetes Supplies From Allegro

    Allegro has all you need for testing your blood glucose level, including meters, test strips and lancets. If you are on Medicare, it is possible for you to get free diabetes supplies from Allegro, delivered right to your door. Contact our helpful staff to find out if you qualify.


    Allegro has test strips in boxes of fifty or one hundred for all the most popular meters. Also, test your blood glucose monitoring system for accuracy with a control solution, which allows you to make sure the meter and test strips are working together, and that you are testing properly, without using actual blood.

    Get lancets for less at Allegro, available in gauges of 21-30 for virtually pain free sampling- even for children. Allegro has many lancing devices that have varying penetration depths, and allow sampling from body sites other than the fingertips. Use a self-injection device to make injecting easier. Simultaneously inserts needle and administers insulin.

    Syringes for insulin users are less expensive by the case. Get yours here! And dispose of your needles properly, in a sharps container.


    Allegro features the latest in inexpensive, accurate glucose monitors that require less blood for testing. Or, get all your supplies in a kit – meter, lancets, lancing device, control solution and test strips, all included in one box, delivered to you. For the vision-impaired, a glucose meter with voice prompting makes testing easy, and helps to maintain independence.

    Shoes, Skin Care and More

    It is important that diabetics take good care of their feet. Loss of circulation and nerve damage can lead to infections, injuries and even amputation. Approximately half of diabetic amputations could be avoided with precautions taken to protect the feet. Allegro has many styles of Orthopedic-type shoes to help protect the feet from injuries. Increase blood flow and raise the temperature of your feet, while relieving foot pain with diabetic foot cream. And for a looser, more comfortable fit, try diabetic socks with wide tops and breathable fabric. For selection and low prices, take your foot care to Allegro.

    Keep insulin cold in the office or when you’re on the go with a travel pack which includes places for all your supplies, and re-freezable ice packs to keep everything cold for hours. Or a portable fridge may be the way to go, to keep insulin, and whatever else you desire cold for as long as you need.

    We have parts for insulin pumps, infusion sets and other insulin accessories. Check our stock. We may have what you need!

    Alternative nutrition for diabetics is available here, for tube-feeding and supplementing.

    The Mission of the American Diabetes Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

    Diabetes Information

    Call 1-888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383) or go online to www.diabetes.org.

    American Diabetes Month Fact Sheet (courtesy of the ADA)

    November is American Diabetes Month (ADM), which is designed to
    communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of proper
    diabetes control. ADM also focuses on type 2 diabetes risk factors and
    prevention, treatment of those diagnosed with the disease, type 1 and type 2, and support for their families. The theme for this year’s ADM is “The Many Faces of Diabetes” and throughout the month the ADA leverages opportunities both nationally and locally to raise awareness about a variety of issues relating to diabetes care and treatment.

  • Diabetes Prevalence Nationwide: 20.8 million people – 7.0% of the population – have diabetes
  • Diagnosed: 14.6 million people
  • Undiagnosed: 6.2 million people
  • Pre-diabetes: At least 54 million people
  • Worldwide: More than 246 million people have diabetes
  • Key Messages

    – If current trends continue one out of three Americans, and one in two minorities, born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

  • Since 1987 the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45%, while the death rates due to heart disease, stroke, and cancer have declined.
  • Keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in control can
  • make a difference in reducing your risk for heart attack or stroke.

  • Annual dilated eye exams and routine foot exams and blood pressure
  • checks can prevent blindness, amputations, heart disease, kidney
    disease, and strokes.

  • The ADA is a proud supporter of the United Nations Resolution on
  • Diabetes and the observance of the first World Diabetes Day on November 14.