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Standards Help Keep You Healthy during American Heart Month

In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, killing about 600,000 people each year. In order to better spread information about heart-related health conditions, the U.S. federal government observes American Heart Month every February. Voluntary consensus standards play an important role in supporting both healthy lifestyle choices that reduce the risk of heart disease, and effective medical responses for those already suffering from the condition.

Regular aerobic exercise is essential to good health and has a particularly beneficial impact on cardiovascular health. During the warmer months, jogging, biking, and other outdoor activities can be a fun, effective way to maintain heart health. However, many people living in colder areas struggle to stay active during the winter, a problem that can be effectively addressed through the use of indoor exercise equipment, either at a gym or at home. ASTM International, a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has developed a standard intended to safeguard the stability and safety of treadmills. The standard, ASTM F2106-12, Standard Test Methods for Evaluating Design and Performance Characteristics of Motorized Treadmills, sets down procedures and lists equipment needed for the effective evaluation of the stability, endurance, and overheating risks of treadmills.

A standard developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer IEEE makes it easier for people to effectively monitor their workouts and their overall cardiovascular health. The standard, IEEE 11073-10441-2008, Health informatics - Personal health device communication - Part 10441: Device specialization -Cardiovascular fitness and activity monitor, establishes a normative definition of communication between personal teleheath fitness and activity monitors and mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices, while also defining a common core of communication functionality for these sorts of personal fitness monitoring devices.

An American National Standard (ANS), ANSI/AAMI BP22:1994 (R2011) (ANSI/AAMI BP 22:1994 (R2011)), Blood pressure transducers, helps manage the health of a patient's cardiovascular system by establishing guidelines for the use of transducers to measure blood pressure through catheters or direct vascular puncture. The standard was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a standard intended to bolster the safety and effective performance of active implants designed to aid damaged circulatory systems. The International Standard, ISO 14708-5:2010, Implants for surgery - Active implantable medical devices - Part 5: Circulatory support devices, sets down type tests and clinical evaluation requirements. The standard does not apply to heart restraint devices, counter-pulsation devices, or extracorporeal perfusion devices, among others. The standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee 150, Implants for surgery, subcommittee (SC) 6, Active implants. The Secretariat of SC 6 is held by the U.S. and AAMI serves as the delegated secretary and associated ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator.

Standards play an important role in the world of heart health, helping individuals who are committed to maintaining an active, heart-healthy lifestyle, while also bolstering medical support for individuals suffering from heart disease. For more information about heart health and related programs, visit the American Heart Association website.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]