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Take control of your heart health! For American Heart Month, reduce your risk for heart disease through lifestyle changes and by managing medical conditions. Below are five ways to make changes today!

  • Find time to be active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
  • Make healthy eating a habit. Small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference. Try making healthier versions of your favorite recipes. How? Look for ways to lower sodium and trans fat, and add more fruits and vegetables.
  • Quit tobacco—for good. Quitting can be tough, but it can be easier when you feel supported. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) today to speak with a quit coach and to get free nicotine replacement therapies.
  • Know your numbers. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease. Ask your health care team to check your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels regularly and help you take steps to control your levels.
  • Stick to the ’script. Taking your medications can be tough, especially if you feel fine. But sticking with your medication routine is important for managing and controlling conditions that could put your heart at risk.

Doctor checking patient's blood pressureThe goal of the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in New Hampshire (NH) through mobilizing partnerships, building capacity, enhancing surveillance, and developing and implementing strategies that address risk factors for heart disease and stroke in NH.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in NH and stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in NH. In 2014, there were a total of 1,466 deaths due to heart disease and in 2009, there were 2,574 people hospitalized for stroke (NH Health WISDOM, NH Hospital Discharge Data and NH Division of Vital Records Administration).

On September 3, 2013, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Vital Signs released new information on Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke.

The NH DHHS, Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), in partnership with the NH Million Hearts Learning Collaborative through funding from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the release of the Ten Steps for Improving Blood Pressure Control in New Hampshire - A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Community Partners.

Heart Disease & Stroke Risk Factors

Common modifiable risk factors for heart disease and stroke include:

 

Data on risk factors are collected through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). New Hampshire and the United States have similar rates for all risk factors (Figure 1).

US and NH Adults reporting Heart Disease and Stroke Risk Factors, 2015

Too much salt or sodium in the diet is also considered to be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke because it is associated with High blood pressure. Learn more ways to reduce salt in your diet.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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