Dept. of Health raising awareness on heart health for month of February

FILE - In this Thursday, June 6, 2013, file photo, a patient has her blood pressure checked by a registered nurse in Plainfield, Vt. A major new U.S. study shows treating high blood pressure more aggressively than usual cuts the risk of heart disease and death in people over age 50, the National Institutes of Health said Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHI) – As part of American Heart Month, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is asking Hoosiers to help raise awareness of overall heart health.

American Heart Month promotes strategies for preventing heart disease and encourages people to live heart-healthy lives.

“This year, we are focusing on men’s heart health,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “Statistically speaking, men have a much higher risk of heart attack, stroke or coronary heart disease. That’s especially true in Indiana, where adult men have more than double the risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease as women.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women nationwide.  In 2014, almost 14,000 Indiana residents died from heart disease, accounting for more than one in every five deaths. American Heart Month is an opportunity for Indiana residents to learn more about the disease and how they can prevent it both at home and in their communities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, the best things people can do to prevent heart disease include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

Heart disease is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to heart attack. A heart attack happens when an artery becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart.

By quitting smoking, eating healthy and staying physically active, individuals substantially reduce their risk of heart disease.  For help quitting smoking, call the Indiana Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.quitnowindiana.com.

For more information on heart disease and other types of cardiovascular disease, visit the ISDH Cardiovascular Health Home at https://secure.in.gov/isdh/24970.htm.

Visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.