Tag Archives: American Heart Month

DHEC Celebrates American Heart Month

DHEC’s Healthcare Quality Team wore red in honor of National Go Red Day on Feb. 4

February is American Heart Month, and it provides an opportunity for people to focus on cardiovascular health.

DHEC’s Division of Diabetes and Heart Disease Management wants to encourage everyone to take action to improve their cardiovascular health. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. This means 1 in every 4 deaths total in the U.S. 

High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are the key risk factors for heart disease. Getting regular health screenings can detect elevated levels and help with early detection or diagnosis.  

Whatever your age or activity level, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risks. Engaging in in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, being smoke-free, and limiting the use of alcohol can lower your risk of heart disease and help you live an overall healthier life. 

Check out the DASH for Good Health Southern Style Cookbook for heart healthy recipes. You’ll find heart healthy tips on seasoning substitutions, eating at restaurants, and meal plans. Try the lemon chicken and potatoes recipe.  

For more information on heart health, watch the February 9th episode of Wellness Wednesday, sponsored by the Division of Diabetes and Heart Disease Management archived on the In It Together Facebook page. 

We also want to thank all DHEC employees who wore red, decorated your space, or both to raise awareness on National Go Red Day on Feb. 4.

DHEC Recognizes American Hearth Month in February #OurHearts

February is often associated with hearts and love, celebrating Valentine’s Day. Though we support showing your loved ones how much you care, we also support showing yourself some love by caring for your heart!

Heart disease was the number one cause of death in South Carolina in 2017-2019. To recognize American Heart Month, DHEC’s Healthcare Quality has put together a list of ways you can love your heart and be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.  

Aerobic exercise, otherwise known as “cardio”, is used to strengthen heart and blood vessels, improve oxygen flow, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly made it difficult to incorporate exercise into a daily routine. With gym closings and an at-home gym equipment shortage, many are finding creative ways to still give their heart the care it needs through exercise.  

Below are some ideas if you do not have access to a gym or equipment: 

  • Body weight aerobics like squats, burpees, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and more
  • Utilizing stairs for a cardiovascular workout
  • Going outdoors for a walk or run
  • Dancing 

Exercise isn’t the only solution to maintaining a healthy heart. 

Stress management is a tool that many often overlook as a preventative measure to declining heart health. Chronic stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors to cope such as smoking, overeating, and heavy alcohol consumption.  

COVID-19 is a chronic stressor all of us have had to endure this past year. Visit this link for more information on how to manage stress during the pandemic. You may also visit DHEC’s Worksite Wellness and Safety page for health-related tips, and for resources coping with the mental and emotional strain of COVID-19, you can check out the agency’s Mental Health Resources page for employees.  

Acute stress, stress that is short-term, can lead to a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. Managing stress can come in many forms. Most people would think of a vacation first, which is a great way to decompress. However, due to travel restrictions from COVID-19, alternatives are needed.  

Below are some ideas to help you brainstorm ways you may want to try and relieve stress: 

  • Volunteering  
  • Laughing  
  • Painting, drawing, making music, etc.  
  • Exercising (double the benefit if this is a stress reliever for you) 
  • Reading (you can check out books for free from a local library) 
  • Meditation 
  • Keep a daily journal 

For more information on how to stay heart healthy, visit heart.orgor the CDC 

During the month of February, DHEC hopes that one of the acts of love you show is one to yourself and your heart. By committing to leading a healthier lifestyle and managing stress in healthier ways, we can fight the statistic of heart disease being the number one cause of death in South Carolina.  

DHEC in the News: Flu, sewage discharge, American Heart Month & more

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

DHEC: Week 8 of high-activity flu season brings second child death to South Carolina

Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) — The eighth week of flu season brought the second flu-related child death of this year, according to a report by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

In its weekly flu watch report, DHEC said the week of Feb. 18 to Feb. 24 was the 11th consecutive week of widespread flu activity.

2 million gallons of sewage discharged into the Stono River

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Department of Health and Environmental control says an estimated 2.4 million gallons of sewage discharged into the headwaters of the Stono River over the course of 8 days.

According to DHEC, the Town of Hollywood noticed disruption of flow in a wastewater line on February 19, 2018. The disruption indicated a problem with the collection system.

Take care of your heart during Heart Health Month

Heart disease is a leading cause of early death and disability in South Carolina. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control encourages residents to adopt habits to keep their hearts healthy.

In 2016, heart disease was the second leading cause of death in the Palmetto State. But small changes can make a big difference.

General Interest

1 in 14 women still smokes while pregnant, CDC says

(CNN)About one in 14 pregnant women who gave birth in the United States in 2016 smoked cigarettes during her pregnancy, according to a report released Wednesday.

The findings, gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, revealed that 7.2% of all expectant mothers smoked — but that the percentage of pregnant smokers varied widely from state to state.

American Heart Month

By Sandra Anderson, MA
Program Coordinator
Division of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health


High blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease, is called the silent killer because it often has no warning signs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. As February — American Heart Month  —  draws to a close, think of the many people affected by heart disease and take the below quiz to know YOUR risk.

Click here to take the Heart Disease Quiz.Warning

Heart disease does not respect your degree(s), amount of money in your bank account or the number of followers you have on social media.  Anyone can be at risk for heart disease and it is most prevalent in the Southeast region. In 2016, heart disease was the second leading cause of death in South Carolina. Chances are, we all know someone affected by heart disease, as 10,183 South Carolinians in 2016 died from it.

Adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle

Most people don’t know that heart disease is 80 percent preventable with education and lifestyle changes. Together we can change that by adopting the following heart-healthy lifestyle tips:

  • Schedule a check-up with your doctor to talk about heart health even if you don’t think you are sick.
  • Add physical activity to your daily routine; always check with your doctor before you start.
  • Cook heart-healthy meals at home at least three times a week, and make your favorite recipes using less salt.
  • If you currently smoke, let the S.C. Tobacco Quitline Help You Quit for Keeps; it can help you cut your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Take medication prescribed by your doctor and know the importance of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications.

Know your numbers

 In addition to making the lifestyle changes above, knowing five numbers can help people and their doctors determine their risk for developing heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends knowing the below numbers to take control of your heart health:

  1. Total Cholesterol
  2. HDL – “Good” Cholesterol
  3. Blood Pressure
  4. Blood Sugar
  5. Body Mass Index (BMI)

To learn more about heart disease and what you can do to prevent or at least manage the disease click on this link:


DHEC in the News: American Heart Month, HIV, injury prevention in children and teens

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

“80% of heart disease is preventable, know your numbers.” Get heart healthy this month!

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) – February is heart health awareness month.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the nation. It is also the second leading cause of death for all women in South Carolina.

It is the leading killer of African-American women in the Palmetto State according to results from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Highest number of positive HIV tests in a single month reported by North Charleston agency

More patients tested positive for HIV at Lowcountry AIDS Services in January than during any other month in the group’s 27-year history.

The support clinic tested roughly 130 people last month and seven of those tests were positive — an abnormally high number.

“People think HIV and AIDS are a thing of the past,” said Adam Weaver, prevention program manager for Lowcountry AIDS Services. “It’s really not.”

General Interest

Injury Prevention in Children & Teens

This week Bobbi Conner talks with Dr. Keith Borg about injury prevention during childhood.