February is American Heart Month and it’s an excellent time for the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program to share data about heart health among Fulton County residents and to teach people that heart disease can often be prevented by making healthy choices and managing health conditions.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 370,000 deaths each year. While the death rate from heart disease fell by about 38% from 2003 to 2013, the burden and risk factors remain alarmingly high. Survey data provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 2014 and 2015, nearly a quarter of all Fulton County adults bought medication to treat high blood pressure and almost one in five bought medications to control cholesterol. The good news is that the same survey found that between 18% and 38% of Fulton County residents already are jogging, swimming, biking, bowling or hiking their way to healthier hearts.
The Department of Health and Wellness promotes healthy living, prevent chronic disease and reduce health disparities through the PICH Program by: helping to protect Fulton County residents from tobacco smoke through smoke-free environment initiatives; increasing access to physical activity opportunities in schools and communities; increasing access to healthy food or beverage options where people live, learn, work, and play; and promoting the creation of walkable and livable communities. As part of these efforts, during American Heart Month the PICH Program is working to raise awareness about heart disease and to increase knowledge about prevention. Sharing this information is important because about 80% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented through everyday healthy living steps, including:
· not smoking;
· engaging in at least 2.5 hours of physical activity each week;
· developing healthy nutrition habits, such as adding fruits, vegetables and healthy grains to meals;
· maintaining healthy weight; and
· controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels
For more information about the PICH Program and to stay on top of all the heart healthy news, visit http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/partnership-to-improve-community-health, follow @FultonHealth on Twitter, and Like /FultonInfo on Facebook.