Tag Archives: high blood pressure

Reduce Your Risk of Stroke: Take Action Now During National Stroke Month

May is National Stroke Month.  Did you know that up to 80% of strokes in the United States are preventable?  Use this month to prioritize healthy lifestyle choices that lower your risk.

Stroke is the number five killer and leading cause of disability in America.  While there are some risk factors that are beyond your control (i.e. age, family health history, race, gender, etc.), take the necessary steps to pay attention to what you can control.  According to the American Stroke Association, these are the risk factors to watch:

  • High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Carotid Artery Disease
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Other Heart Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease

If you have some of these risk factors or are unsure of your risk, take the Stroke Risk Quiz now.

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 stroke death rates.  Stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in South Carolina, resulting in 2,627 deaths in 2016.  Although stroke deaths have decreased from 53.3 to 45.5 per 100,000 (see below), South Carolina had a substantially higher rate than the United States.

May 1 2019 Stroke Death Table

Take the time to educate your loved ones about stroke prevention.  Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s website:  www.cdc.gov/stroke.  For more information about South Carolina health statistics, view the 2018 State Health Assessment Report.

Sleep Is Important For A Healthy Heart

Not only is getting good, quality sleep important to your energy levels, it’s also important for your health, including your heart health.

Sleep plays a key role in helping your body repair itself. Getting enough good sleep also helps you function normally during the day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips on sleep.

How much sleep do I need?

Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Failing to get enough sleep over time can lead to serious health problems.

What health conditions are linked to a lack of sleep?

Adults who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, and depression.

What sleep conditions can hurt my heart health?

Sleep apnea happens when your airway gets blocked repeatedly during sleep, causing you to stop breathing for short amounts of time. Sleep apnea affects how much oxygen your body gets while you sleep and increases the risk for many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Insomnia is trouble falling sleep, staying asleep, or both. As many as one in two adults experiences short-term insomnia at some point, and 1 in 10 may have long-lasting insomnia. Insomnia is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. Over time, poor sleep can also lead to unhealthy habits that can hurt your heart, including higher stress levels, less motivation to be physically active, and unhealthy food choices.

What can I do to get better sleep?

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Get enough natural light, especially earlier in the day. Try going for a morning or lunchtime walk.
  • Get enough physical activity during the day. Try not to exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid artificial light, especially within a few hours of bedtime. Use a blue light filter on your computer or smartphone.
  • Don’t eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime, especially alcohol and foods high in fat or sugar.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information on getting good sleep.

DHEC in the News: Safe sleep, protecting water, workplace noise and high blood pressure

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

Health in Brief: DHEC encourages parents to practice ‘safe sleep’ habits with babies

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control recently published a press release reminding parents to practice safe sleep habits with infants. The agency reported that six infants in South Carolina die each month due to sleep-related deaths.

Study aims to protect water at the source

The clean air and water, mountain views and scenic rivers that attract so many people to the Upstate is the driving force behind a watershed plan being developed for the 220,000-acre Tyger River Watershed Basin.

Keeping it beautiful and clean for future generations is the goal of Upstate Forever, a Greenville-based land conservation organization that is parlaying a $40,000 federal grant into a plan to identify sources of water pollution as well as areas deemed “critical” for protection or restoration.

General Interest

CDC: Workplace noise linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol

High blood pressure and high cholesterol — two risk factors for heart disease — are more common among workers exposed to loud noise in their workplaces, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DHEC in the News: Hypertension coaching program, norovirus, avoiding food poisoning

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

Family Health Centers participating in Hypertension Coaching Program with pharmacists

One of the state’s largest community health centers is participating in a coaching program designed to help its adult patients better manage hypertension.

Family Health Centers Inc. works to serve the medically underserved and uninsured in Orangeburg, Bamberg, Calhoun and upper Dorchester counties through seven comprehensive primary care sites.

As part of its mission, the FHC has been participating in a Hypertension Coaching Program in partnership with the South Carolina Pharmacy Association. The program is funded as part of a four-year grant from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control that ends in September 2018.

General Interest

Norovirus outbreak spreads across Carolinas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Norovirus — more commonly referred to as the stomach bug — is sweeping the Carolinas.

Just this week, more than 60 students on the campus of North Carolina State University tested positive for the illness.

In Charlotte, dozens of moms took to the popular Facebook group M2M to share their own horror stories with the contagious bug, which causes your stomach, intestines, or both to become inflamed, which leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases fever and abdominal pain.

Spread joy, not food poisoning, this holiday season

One of the most rewarding parts of throwing a holiday bash is hearing the next day from guests reminiscing about how delicious and fun the prior evening was for all. What you don’t want to receive are messages about an impromptu afterparty thrown at the local emergency room. Food poisoning is a horrific holiday present to give folks as it’s a gift that could keep giving . . . for days.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 48 million people get sick from food poisoning each year, with 128,000 of them having to be hospitalized. Bouts of nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea are not only unpleasant reminders that you ate some bad food, but this type of foodborne illness can accelerate to the point that is life-threatening. According to the CDC, 3,000 people die annually from food poisoning.