While the world is slowly opening back up after being shut down for months, if you or someone you love is 65 and older, home is where you are still likely spending most your time.
And while at home, you can consider participating in the Heartline Study sponsored by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson in collaboration with Apple. Since the study is completely virtual, there’s no travel necessary to doctors’ offices or anywhere else.
“People can participate from the safety of their home,” says Paul Burton, M.D, Chief Global Medical Affairs Officer at Janssen Scientific Affairs. “They’ll be able to participate in a heart health engagement program with activities that may help improve sleep, fitness and wellness, while contributing to innovative heart health research.”
The study seeks to find whether the Heartline Study app, and heart health features on the Apple Watch, can improve clinical outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke from earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib). The Heartline Study also has articles and facts to keep you engaged in your heart health.
AFib is a common form of irregular heart rhythm that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates is responsible for 158,000 deaths and 454,000 hospitalizations annually in the U.S. It also accounts for more than one-third of all strokes. However, as Dr. Burton notes, “it can be difficult to diagnose since people often do not experience symptoms.”
Here are some tips that can help you take control of your heart health even while adhering to the stay-at-home order:
• Engage in short bouts of physical activity. AFib incidence increases with age – about 70 percent of AFib patients are between 68 and 85 – and even the slightest activity can improve everything from energy to focus to overall health. One starting point: pacing while doing those virtual chats.
• Eat heart-healthy food. “Fruits, vegetables, and fish or chicken are obvious places to begin,” Johns Hopkins Medicine advises.
• Manage high blood pressure. It’s one of the top risk factors for AFib. Readings above 140 for systolic pressure or above 90 for diastolic pressure are considered high.
Who is eligible for the Heartline study? Those who are 65 or older, have Original (Traditional) Medicare and own an iPhone 6s or later model. Individuals with or without a diagnosis of AFib may qualify. Other eligibility criteria apply.
There are a variety of ways to participate in the Heartline Study. You will need to have an iPhone 6s or newer. Some participants will take part using only their iPhone. Some participants will also be asked to wear an Apple Watch. Those asked to wear a watch will be offered two options: purchase one, or get one on loan for the duration of the study and return it when your participation in the study ends. Johnson & Johnson and Apple are committed to ensuring that participation in the study is not limited based on financial need.