Tag Archives: blood pressure

American Heart Month

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

SilentKiller

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:

http://newsroom.heart.org/events/february-is-american-heart-month-6669831.

National Diabetes Month: YOU Are the Most Important Person on Your Health Team

Dr. James Gavin gives tips on how to be the center of your diabetes care team.

Your diabetes health-care team is there to help you live well with diabetes, but you are the most important person on your health care team!  Seek support from health care professionals, family, friends, and your community to successfully manage your diabetes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Below are a few tips to stay healthy with diabetes:

Get routine care

At each visit with your provider make sure you have a:

  • blood pressure check
  • foot check
  • weight check
  • review of your self-care plan
    • Two times each year, have an:
      • A1C test. It may be checked more often if it is over 7.
    • Once each year, be sure you have a:
  • cholesterol test
  • complete foot exam
  • dental exam to check teeth and gums
  • dilated eye exam to check for eye problems
  • flu shot
  • urine and a blood test to check for kidney problems
  • At least once in your lifetime, get a:
  • pneumonia shot
  • hepatitis B shot
  • Watch this video with Dr. James Gavin for tips on how to be the center of your diabetes care team and manage your diabetes.

To learn more about your risk for diabetes, click here to take an online risk assessment.  For more information on how to prevent or manage diabetes in SC, please email ndpp@dhec.sc.gov or call 803-898-1934 to speak with someone in DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division.

Additional Resources to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes

Know the ABCS of Good Diabetes Control

Taking care of your diabetes and the conditions that come with it can help you lower your chances of heart and blood vessel disease. Every step you take to keep your ABCS (A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol) in your target range and quitting smoking, will help lower your risk of heart disease or a stroke.

  • A is for A1C. The A1C test gives you a picture of your average blood glucose (blood sugar) control for the past two to three months but is different from the blood sugar checks you do each day. The results give you a good idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. Having too high levels of blood sugar over time can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes. Ask your health care provider what your goal should be.
  • B is for blood pressure. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder than it should and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.  High blood pressure, often called the silent killer, won’t go away without treatment. That could include lifestyle changes and, if your doctor deems necessary, medicine. Ask your health care provider what your blood pressure goal should be.
  • C is for cholesterol. Your cholesterol numbers tell you about the amount of fat in your blood. Some kinds, like HDL cholesterol, help protect your heart. Others, like LDL cholesterol, can clog your arteries. High triglycerides raise your risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Ask your health care provider what your cholesterol numbers should be.
  •  S is for stop smoking. Not smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Blood vessel narrowing makes your heart work harder. E-cigarettes aren’t a safe option either. If you are having trouble quitting, the Quitline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free for any SC resident. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

To learn more about your risk for diabetes, click here to take an online risk assessment.  For more information on how to prevent or manage diabetes in SC, please email ndpp@dhec.sc.gov or call 803-898-1934 to speak with someone in DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division.

 Additional Resources to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes