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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2018

Take Care of Your Heart

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Heart disease is a leading cause of early death and disability in South Carolina. In 2016, heart disease was the second leading cause of death in the Palmetto State. But small changes can make a big difference. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control encourages you to adopt habits to keep your heart healthy.

"People have the power to help prevent and control many risk factors related to heart disease with lifestyle changes and appropriate medications," said Virginie Daguise, PhD, Director of the Bureau of Community Health and Chronic Disease Prevention.

Anyone can be at risk for heart disease. Lately it has been occurring in younger adults more often. This is partly due to risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure occurring earlier in life. Additionally, African Americans face a higher risk of developing heart disease than Caucasians. In 2016, 2,731 African Americans died from heart disease in South Carolina. DHEC recommends that everyone start at least one new heart-healthy behavior this year.

"Healthy eating and active living may reduce high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity, which are major risk factors for heart disease," Daguise said.

Bar Chart, Prevelance of Heart Disease Risk Factors, South Carolina 2016

You're in the driver's seat when it comes to your heart. Below are tips on how you can be heart healthy at any age:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get regular screenings
  • Check your cholesterol
  • Check your blood pressure
  • Limit alcohol use
  • Take your medicine
  • Manage your diabetes
  • Eat a healthy diet that's low in fat, cholesterol and salt
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week

To learn more about heart disease please visit http://bit.ly/2HR1nw4 or http://bit.ly/2DhdQ9N.

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DHEC Media Relations
media@dhec.sc.gov
(803) 898-7769