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DHMHBlog > Posts > Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Heart
February 05
Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Heart

For healthy heart tips and tools, visit the CDC’s Heart Month website: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HeartMonth/
 
American Heart Month provides the perfect opportunity to think about the health of our hearts, and to get motivated to keep our hearts healthy. Heart disease is the leading cause of death nationwide and here in Maryland. In 2011, cardiovascular disease and stroke killed more than 10,500 Marylanders. But by changing our behaviors, we can improve our heart health. 
 
It is estimated that 36.7 percent of Maryland adults are overweight and 26.7 percent are obese (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2008). People who report behaviors such as inadequate physical activity are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. According to the 2007 and 2008 Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System:
 
It is estimated that Maryland adults who report inadequate physical activity are:
  • 2.2 times more likely also to have suffered from heart attack;
  • 1.7 times more likely also to have had angina; and
  • 2.3 times more likely also to have suffered from stroke.
 
It is estimated that Maryland adults who have been diagnosed with a Body Mass Index of obese or overweight are respectively:
  • 1.9 (obesity) or 1.4 (overweight) times more likely also to have suffered from heart attack;
  • 2 (obesity) or 1.4 (overweight) times more likely also to have had angina; and
  • 1.4 (obesity) or 1 (overweight) times more likely also to have suffered from stroke.
 

It is estimated that Maryland adults who eat less than 1 serving of fruits and vegetables per day are 1.2 to 1.5 times more likely to report having coronary heart disease and stroke than those who consumed fruits and vegetables more than 5 times/day.
 
Adopting healthier behaviors and lifestyles isn’t always easy. But it’s worth it. Visit the CDC’s Heart Month website to learn more about how to have a healthy heart.
 
Photos courtesy of CDC/Amanda Mills

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