2019-02-06 / Community

February is perfect time to take action to lower risk of heart disease

More than 19,000 Hoosiers died from cardiovascular disease in 2017, making heart disease the leading cause of death in Indiana. February is American Heart Month, and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) encourages all Hoosiers to use the observance as an incentive to lowering their risk of developing life-threatening heart disease.

Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower risk: • Watch weight, which includes eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke. • Talk with a doctor about controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure. • Drink alcohol only in moderation. • Get active, because even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.

“Heart disease is a serious health challenge in Indiana,” said Ann Alley, the ISDH director of chronic disease, primary care and rural health. “I encourage every Hoosier to follow more heart-healthy habits, because small changes can make a big difference in your health over time.”

Heart disease has been the leading cause of death in Indiana since 2012, and the numbers continue to increase. In 2017, about 29 percent of all deaths in Indiana were caused by cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease, according to healthfinder.gov.

For more information and resources, visit the Indiana State Department of Health website, http://www.in.gov/isdh/ or the American Heart Association website., https://www.heart.org.

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