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Region 7 Update September 27th, 2022
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Feb

08

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American Heart Month 2022 #OurHearts

Posted by on February 8th, 2022 Posted in: Blog


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, which is one reason that every February is American Heart Month! The goal of this month is to raise awareness of heart disease, heart heath and the steps that can be made to improve it.

Heart disease is a general term that covers several different heart conditions. The most common is coronary artery disease, effecting about 6.7% of adults. Other common heart diseases are strokes and heart failure. Coronary artery disease is when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed and hardened from build-up of cholesterol and plaque on the walls. This prevents the heart from getting the blood it needs, causing chest pain and, in the most severe cases, a heart attack.

Around 1 in every 4 deaths, 659,000 a year, are caused by heart disease. The percentages vary by population group, for example, 23.9% of Black male deaths are caused by heart disease, while 19.39% of Hispanic women deaths are caused by heart disease.

Heart disease deaths are also spread unequally geographically. The adjacent map depicts the age-adjusted average annual heard disease death rates per 100,000 by each county in the United States. The map shows that concentrations of counties with the highest heart disease death rates are located largely in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Guam. Even outside these areas, heart disease is clearly a major public heath concern.

A map of Heart Disease Death Rates for 2017 through 2019 for Adults Aged 35 Years and Older by County in the United States. The map shows that concentrations of counties with the highest heart disease death rates – meaning the top quintile – are located primarily in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Guam.  Pockets of high-rate counties also were found in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona, South Dakota, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Nevada.

Risk factors for heart disease and what can you do?

There are many known risk factors to heart disease, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood colesterol
  • Smoking
  • Exessive alcohol use
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity

While some of these risk factors are linked to genetic factors, there are steps individuals can take to reduce their risk. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has put together some excellent resources on heart healthy living. Their advice includes understanding the risks, getting blood pressure and cholesterol checked and much more. If you’d like to learn more about heart disease and some of the work being done to combat it, check out the links below:

 

Resources:

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NNLM Region 7
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School.

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