Health District commemorates American Heart Month; joins Million Hearts™ campaign

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Love your heart . . . love your loved ones . . .heart disease remains the leading cause of death in Nevada and across the country. In 2012, more than 5,000 Nevadans died from heart disease. To commemorate American Heart Month, the Southern Nevada Health District’s office of chronic disease prevention & health promotion is joining the national Million Hearts™ campaign to prevent more than one million heart attacks and strokes in the United States. Beginning Monday, Feb. 2, the health district will launch a coordinated social media awareness campaign that provides information, tips and resources to promote cardiovascular health on its Get Healthy Clark County website, www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org and in Spanish on its Viva Saludable site, www.VivaSaludable.org. Information will also be distributed on the health district’s social media sites on Twitter, Facebook and the Get Healthy Clark County blogs.

Free blood pressure checks will be available at the health district’s main facility, 330 S. Valley View between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6; Friday, Feb. 13; Friday, Feb. 20;  and Friday, Feb. 27.

Heart disease facts:

  • 600,000 people in the US die of heart disease (about 1 in 4 deaths)
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women
  • 720,000 Americans have a heart attack – 515,000 are a first heart attack

According to the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), 38.6 percent of Nevada adults surveyed were told they had high cholesterol and nearly 30.6 percent were told they had high blood pressure (BRFSS 2013). Additional information is available on the American Heart Association site, www.AmericanHeart.org and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), www.CDC.gov.

The Million Hearts™ initiative was launched in September 2011 to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. It is led by the CDC, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and additional federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health and private sector partners such as the American Heart Association and the YMCA, among others. Million Hearts™ brings together heart disease and stroke prevention programs, policies, and activities to raise awareness among health care providers, private-sector organizations, policymakers, and consumers about what can be done to prevent heart disease and stroke. Information about the Million Hearts initiative can be found by visiting: http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.

Heart disease is among the most preventable diseases. In the United States, the cost of all coronary heart disease alone is approximately $108.9 billion according to the CDC.  This total includes the cost of health care services, medications and lost productivity.

The usual suspects can help minimize the risk of developing heart disease, including quitting smoking, keeping blood pressure under control, achieving a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol use. It is also important to keep cholesterol levels in check and to receive regular health care services especially if you have diabetes, or hypertension. Talk to your healthcare provider at each visit to discuss your blood pressure, cholesterol and lab test results and if they are higher than normal, ask for tips on reducing your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict  or  Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo. The health district is now available in Spanish on Twitter www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the health district on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404.

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