Category Archives: Public Health

Be a Food Safety Hero During National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food.

Follow these tips from the CDC to protect yourself and your loved ones from foodborne illness:

  • Clean: Wash hands, utensils, and kitchen surfaces often when you cook. Germs are everywhere.
  • Separate: Keep fresh produce separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Use separate cutting boards and plates.
  • Cook: Always use a food thermometer to know when food is safely cooked.
  • Chill: Refrigerate perishable food and leftovers within two hours.

DHEC plays an important part in South Carolina’s food safety, including inspections, food grades, and education. Visit https://scdhec.gov/food-safety to learn more about DHEC’s role.

#Bethe1To Stop Suicide for Suicide Prevention Month

Every September the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recognizes National Suicide Prevention Month. This month was created to highlight ways everyone can prevent suicide in their families, friendships, and other relationships.

Suicide is defined as a death resulting from the use of force against oneself when evidence indicates that the use of force was intentional. Suicide is a serious public health issue that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

2019-06 SCVDRS Suicide Factsheet[78]_Page_2

Know the Facts About Suicide in South Carolina

According to the 2018 South Carolina State Health Assessment:

  • The suicide rate has increased from 11.7 per 100,000 in 2007 to 15.7 per 100,000 in 2016.
  • Suicide was the fourth leading cause of premature death in South Carolina in 2016.
  • In adults aged 55-64 years, suicide was the main cause of injury death in 2016.
  • The suicide rate during 2016 was higher in men (24.6 per 100,000) than women (7.6 per 100,000).

Suicide_SC Health Assessment

What is DHEC Doing to Stop Suicide?

Internally, DHEC has a workgroup comprised of 16 central office and regional staff from different bureaus, divisions and professions. With technical assistance from the SC Department of Mental Health’s Office of Suicide Prevention, this group is working to implement the Zero Suicide framework at the agency. The Zero Suicide work group focuses on the development of suicide safe care pathways within the agency, which includes the creation of agency wide policy and procedures to identify and refer individuals struggling with suicide, training standards, and quality improvement measures. Adoption of this evidence-based framework aligns with the recommendations from the South Carolina Strategy for Suicide Prevention 2018-2025, created by the South Carolina Suicide Prevention Coalition.

DHEC uses the SC Violent Death Reporting System to support state and national partners with their prevention efforts by collecting and analyzing violent death information to determine circumstances that contribute to suicide, homicide, and accidental firearm deaths within the state.

To learn more about suicide prevention and how you can make a difference, visit #BeThere to Help.

South Carolina Health at a Glance: Chronic Disease and Risk Factors (Part 3)

Our next installment of the 2018 Live Healthy State Health Assessment summaries covers chronic disease and risk factors.  Because this section lists many chronic diseases that affect South Carolina, we will summarize in three sections. In our first section we summarized South Carolina findings on obesity, prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, and stroke. The next section summarized physical activity, nutrition, and cigarette smoking.  Our last section will cover all cancers in South Carolina. Check out our previous posts:  overview of the reportSouth Carolina demographicsleading causes of death and hospitalizationcross-cutting, access to healthcare, and maternal and infant health.

In the United States, cancer remains a leading cause of death, second only to heart disease. In South Carolina, cancer has surpassed heart disease in recent years as the leading cause of death. South Carolina ranks 32nd in the nation for new cases of cancer, however ranks 14th for deaths due to cancer.  Approximately 50% to 75% of cancer deaths are caused by three preventable lifestyle factors: tobacco use, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise.

SC Cancer_Assessment

  • In 2016, 10,349 South Carolina residents died from cancer.
  • Cancer of the lung and bronchus contributed to the largest number of deaths for residents of South Carolina in 2016.
  • From 2006 to 2015 in South Carolina, the rate of new cases of cancer decreased from a high of 486.8 per 100,000 in 2006 to a low of 452.8 per 100,000 in 2015.
  • The counties in South Carolina with the highest rates of new cancers during 2011 to 2015 combined were Chester, Dorchester, Lee, Sumter, and Union.

SC Cancer by County_Assessment

Lung Cancer

  • While South Carolina ranks 32nd in the United States for new cases of all cancers combined, lung cancer poses a challenge in that South Carolina ranks 16th in comparison.
  • Lung cancer was the second leading cause of new cases of cancer in 2015. It was the leading cause of cancer deaths in 2016, claiming the lives of 2,701 South Carolina residents.
  • South Carolina’s rate of new cases of lung cancer decreased from a high of 74.4 per 100,000 population in 2006 to a low of 64.5 per 100,000 population in 2015.

In our last section about South Carolina’s chronic diseases and risk factors, we will summarize information about all cancers. For more detailed information about chronic diseases and risk factors that affect our state, visit https://www.livehealthysc.com/uploads/1/2/2/3/122303641/chronic_disease_and_risk_factors_sc_sha.pdf.

Female Breast Cancer

  • In South Carolina during 2016, 75.4% of women aged 50 to 74 years old, reported receiving a mammogram within the last two years.
  • In 2015 there was a total of 4,077 new cases of breast cancer, and of these, 1,306 were diagnosed as late-stage in South Carolina representing a rate of 42.9 per 100,000.
  • South Carolina had a higher breast cancer death rate than the United States in 2016.

Cervical Cancer

  • South Carolina ranks in the lowest quartile nationally for adolescents having received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine.
  • In 2016, 79.4% of women 21 to 65 years old reported having a Pap smear within the past three years.
  • Black women are diagnosed at a higher rate than White women in South Carolina (22% higher).

Colorectal Cancer

  • In 2015, there were 2,320 new cases of invasive colon and rectum cancer in South Carolina. South Carolina met the Healthy People 2020 goal of 39.9 new cases of colorectal cancer per 100,000 population.
  • More women (71.4%) received the recommended colorectal screening than men (66.5%) in 2016.
  • Non-Hispanic Blacks (45.8 cases per 100,000 population) had a higher rate of new cases of colorectal cancer compared to non-Hispanic Whites (38.1 cases per 100,000 population) in 2015.

Prostate Cancer

  • In 2016, 43.7% of men ages 40 years and older reported receiving a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test within the past two years.
  • There were 3,521 new cases of prostate cancer in 2015 in South Carolina.
  • Non-Hispanic Black males (173.4 cases per 100,000)) had a higher rate of new cases of prostate cancer than non-Hispanic White males (97.8 cases per 100,000) in 2015.

For more information about South Carolina cancer statistics, read the full Chronic Disease and Risk Factors chapter of the 2018 State Health Assessment.

South Carolina Health at a Glance: Chronic Disease and Risk Factors (Part 2)

Our next installment of the 2018 Live Healthy State Health Assessment summaries covers chronic disease and risk factors.  Because this section lists many chronic diseases that affect South Carolina, we will summarize in three sections. In our first section we summarized South Carolina findings on obesity, prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, and stroke. Our next section will cover nutrition, physical activity, and cigarette smoking. Check out our previous posts:  overview of the reportSouth Carolina demographicsleading causes of death and hospitalizationcross-cutting, access to healthcare, and maternal and infant health.

Nutrition

A healthy diet is essential to reducing the risk of chronic diseases and other health conditions, including obesity, malnutrition, iron-deficiency anemia, and some cancers.

  • The percent of adults who consumed vegetables less than one time per day was higher in those with an annual household income of less than $15,000 (37.8%) compared to those with an annual household income of $50,000 or higher (16.1%).
  • Men (52.3%) in South Carolina had a higher prevalence of not eating fruits than women (42.5%) in 2015.
  • The prevalence of adults who consumed vegetables less than one time per day did not statistically change from 2011 to 2015.

Physical Activity

  • The rate of adults who met physical activity guidelines for both aerobic and muscle training increased from 18.9% in 2011 to 23.0% in 2016, and surpassed the Healthy People 2020 objective of 20.1%.
  • In 2015, 23.6% of South Carolina high school students met the federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity.
  • The prevalence among non-Hispanic White students who met the federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity was higher than non-Hispanic Black students.

SC Adult Cigarette Smoking_Assessment

  • Adult cigarette smoking decreased from 23.7% in 2011 to 20.6% in 2016 in South Carolina.
  • In 2015, 9.6% of high school students (grades 9-12) reported cigarette use on at least one day during the past 30 days.
  • The prevalence of adult women (50%) attempting to quit cigarette smoking within the past year was higher than adult men (41.0%).

SC Second handsmoke_assessment

  • In South Carolina in 2015, 22.4% of adults reported being exposed to secondhand smoke while at the workplace.
  • The five counties in South Carolina with the highest prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure while a work were: Colleton, Hampton, Bamberg, Clarendon, and Marlboro.
  • In 2015, the prevalence of adolescents who reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in homes or vehicles was 40.8%.

In our last section about South Carolina’s chronic diseases and risk factors, we will summarize information about all cancers. For more detailed information about chronic diseases and risk factors that affect our state, visit https://www.livehealthysc.com/uploads/1/2/2/3/122303641/chronic_disease_and_risk_factors_sc_sha.pdf.

South Carolina Health at a Glance: Chronic Disease and Risk Factors (Part 1)

Our next installment of the 2018 Live Healthy State Health Assessment summaries covers chronic disease and risk factors. Because this section lists many chronic diseases that affect South Carolina, we will summarize in three sections. Check out our previous posts:  overview of the reportSouth Carolina demographicsleading causes of death and hospitalizationcross-cutting, access to healthcare, and maternal and infant health.

Key Findings

Obesity

  • South Carolina had the 12th highest adult obesity rate in the nation in 2016.
  • In 2016, the prevalence of obesity among non-Hispanic Blacks was 42.8% and was higher compared to non-Hispanic Whites (30.2%).
  • The prevalence of obesity was higher in adults with an annual household income less than $15,000 (40.8%) than among those with income $50,000 and higher (28.4%).

Prediabetes

Prediabetes, sometimes called “borderline diabetes” is a condition in which someone has a blood sugar (glucose) level above normal but not yet in the diabetes range. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or experience a stroke. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

  • The prevalence of adults in South Carolina diagnosed with prediabetes increased from 6.7% in 2011 to 9.4% in 2016.
  • In 2016, the prevalence of prediabetes was higher in non-Hispanic Blacks (12.5%) compared to non-Hispanic Whites (8.5%).
  • The prevalence of prediabetes was higher in those with a disability (14.7%) than those without a disability (6.9%).

Diabetes

SC Adults with Diabetes_assessment

  • From 2011 to 2016, South Carolina adults with diabetes have remained higher than the median range of the United States.
  • The prevalence of diabetes was higher among adults aged 65 or older than among those under age 65.
  • In 2016, the prevalence of diabetes was higher in non-Hispanic Blacks (16.9%) than in non-Hispanic Whites (11.7%).

 

Hypertension

SC Adults with hypertension_assessment

Hypertension, commonly known as “high blood pressure,” is often called the silent killer because, apart from extreme cases, it has no symptoms. Nearly one in three United States adults have high blood pressure.

  • More than one-third (39.3%) of adults in South Carolina had hypertension in 2016.
  • Seventeen counties had a prevalence of hypertension higher than the state average at 38.7%.
  • In 2016, the prevalence of hypertension increased with age.

 

Arthritis

Arthritis is the term used to describe more than 100 diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the join, and other connective tissue.

  • The percentage of South Carolina adults who have been told they have arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia increased from 27.9% in 2011 to 30.1% in 2016. The median percentage of arthritis was 25.8% in the United States in 2016.
  • Over 57% of adults ages 65 years or older reported having arthritis in 2016.
  • The prevalence among disabled adults (56.2%) was three times higher than those adults who were not disabled (16.8%).

Heart Disease

About 610,000 Americans die each year from heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States.

SC heart disease deaths_assessment

  • South Carolina had a lower death rate compared to the United States (94.3 per 100,000) and met the Healthy People 2020 goal of 103.4 coronary heart disease deaths per 100,000 population in 2016.
  • Men (123.3 per 100,000) had a higher death rate than women (57.6 per 100,000) in 2016.
  • Non-Hispanic Blacks (96.0 per 100,000) experienced a higher death rate than non-Hispanic Whites (85.7 per 100,000).

 

Stroke

SC Stroke Deaths_assessment

Stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in the United States in 2016, and is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. About 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year.

  • In 2016, South Carolina had the sixth highest stroke death rate in the nation and is part of the “Stroke Belt,” a group of Southeastern states with high death rates.
  • Stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in South Carolina, resulting in 2,627 deaths in 2016.
  • Stroke resulted in 16,484 hospitalizations in South Carolina in 2016, with charges of more than $952 million.

In our next section, we will summarize nutrition, physical activity, and cigarette smoking in South Carolina adults. For more detailed information about chronic diseases and risk factors that affect our state, visit https://www.livehealthysc.com/uploads/1/2/2/3/122303641/chronic_disease_and_risk_factors_sc_sha.pdf.