Tag Archives: heart

DHEC in the News: Tire recycling, Hilton Head beaches, new treatment for heart failure

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

Homeland Park residents cheer closing of tire recycling business

Homeland Park resident Steve Allen’s wife suffers from respiratory problems. But he said she can breathe better now that the tire recycling business near their home has closed.

Dave Homesley, who also lives close to the now-defunct Viva Recycling on Abbeville Highway, says the dust, fumes and noise created by business were a “catastrophe.”

“It has been very, very, very traumatic,” Homesley said.

Viva Recycling’s facilities in Anderson County and Monck’s Corner north of Charleston both shut down a few months ago. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control revoked the operating permits for both sites in September.

3 weeks after Irma, are Hilton Head waters safe to swim in yet?

Three weeks after Tropical Storm Irma, there’s some good news for Hilton Head Island residents and visitors.

The beaches are safe to swim in, according to water quality test results from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The department collected beach monitoring samples in the Hilton Head on Sept. 20 and the results were “satisfactory,” according to a DHEC spokesperson.

General Interest

New treatment for heart failure sought in research led by Clemson University

CLEMSON — Heart-attack damage could be repaired with stem cells and tiny “nanowires” as part of a new research project that involves all three of South Carolina’s major research universities and is backed by $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Ying Mei, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Clemson University, is leading the project.

DHEC wants you to give mom the gift of good health

By Adrianna Bradley

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages you to give your mom the gift of good health.

Most moms will appreciate a Mother’s Day gift that will make her happy, and help keep her in your life for a long time.  Start a new “healthy Mother’s Day” tradition this year.

Try dark chocolate this year

Giving sweet treats is a traditional way to show your mom how much you care.  Consider giving your mother dark chocolate this year. Dark chocolate, in moderation, has many health benefits.  It is good for your heart and brain to name a few.  Eating small amounts of dark chocolate, about 1 ounce two to three times a week, can help lower blood pressure and improve cognitive function.  It may help reduce the risk of stroke as well. Remember, that chocolate is also high in fat.  Serve it along with other treats like fresh strawberries, grapes or bananas.

Help mom improve her heart health

Give the gift of heart health.  Fill her gift basket with items that will help her become more physically active.  Add a pedometer, arm weights, a yoga DVD, fitness club membership, or a cute workout outfit.

If you’re still at a loss for things to give mom, give her gifts that will help her get a good night’s sleep.  Our moms stay busy.  Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as eating health and staying active.  Lack of sleep has been linked to serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Consider buying nice bedding, and encourage your mother to turn off the computer, smart phone, and lights, and go to bed an hour earlier each night.

Put on your chef’s hat

Lastly, pamper your mom on her special day.  Put on your apron and chef’s hat.  Prepare a brunch that she is sure to love.  Try one of the heart healthy recipes below for a new twist on pancakes and muffins below.  These foods are a healthy way to satisfy her sweet tooth without sacrificing her health.

Whole-grain Strawberry Pancakes

(Adapted from USDA)

Ingredients

Whole Grain Strawberry Pancakes

Attribution: USDA

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 container vanilla low-fat yogurt (6 oz)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 container strawberry low-fat yogurt (6 oz)

Preparation

  1. Heat griddle to 375°F or heat 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Grease with canola oil if necessary (or spray with cooking spray before heating).
  2. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, beat eggs, vanilla yogurt, water and oil with egg beater or wire whisk until well blended.
  4. Pour egg mixture all at once into flour mixture; stir until moistened.
  5. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter from cup or pitcher onto hot griddle. Cook pancakes 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbly on top, puffed and dry around edges. Turn; cook other sides 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Top each serving (2 pancakes) with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries and 1 to 2 tablespoons strawberry yogurt.

Pineapple Carrot Muffins

(Adapted from Cooking Matters)

Ingredients 

Pineapple Carrot Muffins

Attribution: Cooking Matters

  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 cup canned crushed pineapple with juice
  • 5 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 Tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    Rinse and peel a carrot. Shred with a grater. Measure out ¾ cup shredded carrot.
    3. In a medium bowl, add pineapple with juice, oil, water, vinegar and shredded carrot. Mix with a fork to combine.
    4. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Blend well with a fork to break up any lumps.
    5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
    6. If using walnuts or raisins, gently stir in now.
    7. Coat muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full with batter. Bake on middle rack of oven until muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20–25 minutes.

Fruit Smoothies

(Adapted from Cooking Matters)

Ingredients 

Fruit Smoothies

Attribution: Fruit smoothies

  • 1 medium banana (Use any fresh or frozen fruit. Use fruits in season when you can.)
  • ½ cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • ½ cup 100% orange juice
  • 4 frozen strawberries

Preparation

  1. Peel banana. Place in blender.
    2. Add remaining ingredients to the blender. If using cinnamon, add now.
    3. Cover and blend until smooth.

Pledge to keep your body, heart and brain healthy

DHEC is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association South Carolina Chapter, The American Heart Association and Eat Smart Move More South Carolina to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and brain health.

Protect your body, heart and brain

DHEC and its partners will collaborate on a campaign that encourages people to Take Brain Health to Heart. A key element of the effort is a pledge — which can be found at www.scdhec.gov/brainhealthpledge — that encourages residents to keep their body, heart and brain healthy.

The campaign is designed to educate and mobilize South Carolinians to protect their brain health by being more active, eating better and taking other steps. Research has shown that smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes may contribute to cognitive decline. It has also found that unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity and brain injury may affect the health of the brain.

Message key for S.C.’s aging population

This is an important message in South Carolina, whose population is getting older. While Alzheimer’s and dementia are not a normal part of aging, getting older is the greatest risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, 84,000 people over the age of 65 are reported to be living with Alzheimer’s disease in South Carolina.  By 2025, that number is expected to grow to 120,000, according to the SC Alzheimer’s disease registry report. South Carolina has one of the fastest-aging adult populations in the country, ranking in the top 10. That population is expected to increase to 1.1 million by 2029, resulting in one in five South Carolinians being over age 65.

South Carolina is one of seven states to receive funding to reduce stigma, promote early diagnosis and address risk reduction factors associated with cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The effort is funded by a collaborative that includes the Alzheimer’s Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Take the pledge

Over the next few months, DHEC, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Heart Association and Eat Smart Move More will jointly focus on messaging regarding heart and brain health and cognitive decline.

The campaign will feature a centralized DHEC Brain Health webpage. Each partner organization will have a link to the page, which will include health education materials, social media messages and a call to action in the form of a pledge about healthy lifestyle changes. People who visit the page and take the pledge will be entered into a monthly drawing for a Fitbit, beginning this month and ending June 30. Please visit the webpage at www.scdhec.gov/brainhealth and take the pledge.

Let’s commit to improving South Carolinians’ heart health

By Lilian Peake, MD
Director, Health Services

Cardiovascular disease is a leading killer of South Carolinians and many of these deaths are avoidable. Communities, employers, health professionals and families can all play a role in preventing this disease.

This is particularly important in South Carolina: In 2015, there were more than 50,000 hospitalizations for heart disease, at a cost of more than $3.2 billion.

South Carolina’s heart disease death rate is above the national average and higher than our neighbors, North Carolina and Georgia. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s State Health Facts, in 2014 the heart disease death rate in the United States was 167 per 100,000 people. In South Carolina the death rate is 8 percent higher than the US rate and 14 percent higher than in North Carolina (181.1, compared to 158.7).

dr-lilian-peake-dhec

Dr. Lilian Peake

There are also disparities among groups affected. For example, the rate among African-Americans outpaces all others. The Palmetto State also has high rates of the conditions that lead to this disease, such as obesity and diabetes.

Much work has been done in an effort to turn the tide. We at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) consider our role key to helping achieve the level of improvement needed. Our vision is “Healthy people living in healthy communities.”

DHEC works with numerous community partners to improve cardiovascular health for all.

We assist in implementing CDC-recognized diabetes prevention programs and train lifestyle coaches.

DHEC also offers a heart disease and stroke prevention program called WISEWOMAN. This is offered at no cost to eligible women ages 40 to 64. Women are screened for high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity; they obtain medical follow-up and referrals for abnormal screening results as well as referrals to free or low-cost community programs, such as workout classes, diabetes education, and free sessions with a personal health coach.

DHEC partners with the SC Institute of Medicine and Public Health to facilitate the implementation of the state’s Obesity Action Plan through the SCaledown initiative.

We work with communities to encourage policies, systems and environmental changes that lead to improved access to healthy foods and active lifestyles. One example is the Farm to Institution program where we partner with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Education. We educate the public, partner with health systems, and design wellness programs statewide.

DHEC also funds the Quitline to help South Carolinians quit smoking.

Other organizations, including the South Carolina Hospital Association, the South Carolina Chapter of the American Heart Association, A Million Hearts, the South Carolina Medical Association, the Heart2Heart Foundation and more are also doing admirable work in an effort to address this important health issue.

But there is much more work to do. We need your help. You too play an important role in improving heart health in South Carolina. And what better time to get started than this month — American Heart Month?

So what are some things you can do?

  • Commit to a healthy lifestyle — exercise daily, eat healthier and take medication as prescribed.
  • Stop Call 800-Quit-NOW for free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to eligible South Carolinians.
  • Become a WISEWOMAN participant if eligible; call 800-227-2345 to see if you qualify.
  • Have your blood pressure checked.
  • Create physical activities such as walking or group exercise at work.

Obviously, there are many more actions we can take as employers, health care providers or families. With the right level of commitment, we can improve heart health in South Carolina. Will you help?

American Heart Month

By Tiffany A. Mack, MPH, CHES, CGW
SC PHASE Program Administrator
Division of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity & School Health

February is not only the month of love in which we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is also American Heart Month. Raising awareness about heart health is key to combating heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm), each year more than 600,000 Americans die of heart disease, which accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths in the country.

Why heart health?

The heart is one of the most vital organs of the human body.  This muscle pumps blood through the circulatory system and supplies nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body.  Damage to the heart through poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, physical inactivity and diets rich in sodium and saturated fats can cause the heart to not function properly and result in heart disease.

Adults who suffer from chronic conditions have a much higher risk of developing heart disease.  Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease than adults without diabetes; people with uncontrolled high blood pressure are three times more likely to die of heart disease; and people with high blood cholesterol have about twice the risk of developing heart disease than people with lower levels (source: DHEC Chronic Disease Epidemiology State of the Heart Fact Sheet, www.scdhec.gov/Library/ML-002149.pdf).

It is important to know that there are many ways heart disease can be prevented and treated to maintain a normal lifestyle, and prevent premature death and disability.

What is DHEC doing?

DHEC’s Division of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to focus on preventing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke in 15 of the 46 counties in South Carolina.  The division is partnering with medical practices to adopt and implement policies and protocols for the improvement of patient health outcomes related to high blood pressure.

What can you do?

One of the best ways to celebrate American Heart Month is to get involved.  Know your numbers. Get routine screenings by your primary care physician to include checking blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels.

  • Eat smart. Reduce your sodium intake, and adding more fruits and veggies to your diet.
  • Move more. Add just 10 minutes of moderate activity twice a day.
  • At work you can go for a walk, take the stairs and/or bring a healthy snack to share with your colleagues.
  • Encourage your family and friends to follow your lead by practicing healthier habits for life.

There are many partner organizations that are participating in American Heart Month by conducting awareness and outreach events.  The Heart2Heart Foundation  has been hosting a Statewide Screening Day initiative.  This event was created through a collaboration with the Governor’s Office and SC DHEC.  Please visit StatewideScreeningDay.com and share this with your friends so they can take advantage of these free screenings!

For the remaining days of American Heart Month — and beyond — commit to learning about what you can do to promote heart health and raise awareness about heart disease and heart disease prevention.

More Information:

If you would like more information regarding heart disease and heart healthy tips, visit the DHEC website (www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/HeartDiseaseStroke/HeartDisease/) the CDC website (cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm) or the American Heart Association website (heart.org/HEARTORG/).