Tag Archives: stroke

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.

Walking for World Diabetes Day

DHECDiabetesObservance 2018

Every year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States and many additional cases go undiagnosed. In South Carolina, the prevalence of diabetes is about 20 percent higher than the national average.

Diabetes can lead to other serious health conditions, including stroke, heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, swelling and edema. Women who had gestational diabetes and their children are more at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Aside from all of the health risks, diabetes is more expensive. In fact, the average medical expenses among those with diagnosed diabetes is over two times higher than those without diabetes. The good news is that diabetes can be delayed or prevented by eating healthy and staying active.

On Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, DHEC staff from the Mills Jarrett complex in Columbia walked together in observance of World Diabetes Day. (The walk was postponed from the actual date of observance — Nov. 14 — due to rain.) The first sunny day all week, it was a great opportunity to get outside and learn more about World Diabetes Day, which occurs during National Diabetes Month.

The World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a theme that runs for one or more years and the theme for 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes, which fits in nicely with the theme for National Diabetes Month this year, Promoting Health After Gestational Diabetes.

Employees received different “did you know…” facts about diabetes. While the facts will not teach them everything they need to know about testing or warning signs, the information will at least get the conversation started and hopefully encourage employees to not only think about their health, but the health of their family. With the holiday season in full swing, it is a good time to think about ways to stay healthy during celebrations and have open conversations with family members about health.

For some tips on staying healthy over the holidays, consider the following:

  • Avoid overeating. You can eat a healthy meal before going to a party or practice self-control by only indulging in your favorite treats in moderation.
  • Stay active. Either keep up your normal routine or even try incorporating walks into your gatherings.
  • Keep your stress levels lower. Remember to take time for yourself and relax both your body and mind.

To learn more about World Diabetes Day, visit worlddiabetesday.org and for more information on American Diabetes Month, visit diabetes.org/in-my-community/american-diabetes-month.

DHEC in the News: Secondhand smoke in children, liver cancer, foodborne illness

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

Dangers of secondhand smoke in children

Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your health. It causes cancer, emphysema, heart attacks and strokes.

In short, it is deadly. Yet, people still smoke.

Many smokers believe it calms their nerves and reduces their appetite. However, this article is not about convincing people to stop smoking. As adults, you already know that you should stop and why. This column is about the dangers of smoking around children and what you can do about it.

Liver cancer deaths soar in South Carolina, across the US

Deaths from liver cancer are up a staggering 43 percent overall nationwide, and South Carolina’s rate is higher than the national average, federal health officials say.

While a number of factors could be to blame, including alcohol and tobacco use, experts point to rising rates of hepatitis C, or HCV, as the main culprit.

General Interest
Foodborne illness may be on the rise. Here’s why

(CNN) One child drank apple cider at a Connecticut farm, another a glass of juice during a road trip in Oregon; later, both were rushed to emergency rooms as they struggled for their lives. A middle-aged woman became sick more than a decade ago after enjoying a salad at a banquet hosted by a California hotel; her debilitating symptoms continue to this day.

A 17-year-old paid the ultimate price when he ate two hamburgers “with everything, to go” and died days later.

These are the stories behind the faces on the “Honor Wall” of Stop Foodborne Illness, the national nonprofit that represents and supports those who suffered a drastic consequence following the most ordinary act: eating.

Physical activity has lots of benefits

It’s well known that physical activity can help you lose weight. But did you know that keeping it moving — your body, that is — also leads to other positive results? Here are 10 benefits of physical activity cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes or diabetes complications
  2. Better brain function
  3. More money in your wallet (due to better health and lower health care costs)
  4. Lower risk of some cancers
  5. Longer life
  6. Better mood
  7. Stronger bones and muscles
  8. Lower risk of heart disease and stroke
  9. Fewer sick days
  10. Better grades in school

Visit the CDC’s website for more detailed information on each of these benefits of physical activity.

From Men’s Health Month to Father’s Day: June Is for the Men

By Chanelle Taylor

There is something special about June. It is Men’s Health Month. It is also the month during which we celebrate Father’s Day, which is June 17 this year. In short, June is for the men.

In June, we celebrate our men and boys and encourage them to seek consultations, participate in age appropriate health screenings, and get adequate exercise for longer, healthier lives.

Men are at a higher risk than women for many preventable health conditions and die an average of five years younger than women. According to the Center for Disease Contron and Prevention (CDC), some of the top causes of death among men include cancer, heart disease, unintentional injuries, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and stroke.

In an effort to protect and preserve their health, men should:

  • Eat healthy foods; include a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Visit the doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Do not use tobacco products. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Visit the CDC website for more information on Men’s Health Month and men’s health topics.