Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Heart Month In Hendry County

Hendry County— February is American Heart Month and it is a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle and make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health and help fight heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in Florida and the nation.

Photo: Staff at Hendry County Health Department in LaBelle

“Approximately 14% of our communities have had a heart attack, angina, or coronary heart disease according to a recent study. Taking small steps to permanently improve your health can have lasting impact to your quality of life” stated Joe Pepe, Administrator/Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties.

Each year, heart disease causes one in four deaths in the United States. There were 42,835 heart attack hospitalizations in Florida in 2014 or an average of 117 heart attack hospitalizations each day. About half of all Americans have at least one of the three risk factors for heart disease which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. While all Americans are at risk for heart disease, the non-Hispanic black community is at the greatest risk.

The department recently launched a new pilot program in Hendry to combat heart disease called Heart Heath Plus. The pilot program is being conducted in 17 Florida counties that showed the greatest need for heart disease prevention programs. Heart Health Plus implements evidence-based strategies to engage faith-based organizations, health systems and local communities in heart disease awareness and prevention activities.

Hendry County’s Heart Health Plus program is working with churches in Harlem and 2 Hispanic churches to be members of 100 Congregations as part of the Million Hearts campaign. Participants will learn about ways to get healthier and will be offered classes for diabetes prevention, diabetes self-management and tobacco cessation.

Many of the risk factors for heart disease can be eliminated with diet, exercise and taking steps to quit smoking. During American Heart Month, follow these simple tips to keep your heart healthy and fight heart disease.

· Add exercise to your daily routine, even if it’s just taking regular walks with family and friends;

· Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about your heart health;

· Increase healthy eating by cooking heart healthy meals; and

· Take steps to quit smoking by utilizing the Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way Program.

On February 3rd, the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties celebrated Go Red for Women’s Health Day by wearing red and distributing information about women and heart disease.

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