MSDH Programs Map the Road to a Healthy Heart

MSDH Programs Map the Road to a Healthy Heart
Mississippi department of Health. Photo source MDOH

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Health 

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) recognizes February as American Heart Month. Mississippi ranks first in the nation for cardiovascular disease related deaths with a rate of 250 deaths per 1,000 population annually. Programs offered by the MSDH Office of Preventive Health can help you focus on the importance of establishing and maintaining a healthy heart as an essential part of your overall health.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death nationally for men and women. The MSDH Office of Health Promotion and Health Equity has a variety of programs that promote cardiovascular disease prevention," said Dr. Evelyn Walker, Director of Health Promotion and Health Equity.

Programs that fall under the Offices of Preventive Health and Tobacco Control cover five practices that lead to a healthy heart. The Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program provides education on recognizing the signs of a heart attack and reducing the factors that increase the chances of heart attacks, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and increased salt intake. The Obesity and Physical Activity programs cover a variety of nutrition services, weight management tools and ways to get active and stay active. Smoking is a hard habit to kick, but smokers have more than twice the risk of a heart attack than non-smokers. The Office of Tobacco Control promotes smoking cessation services through the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline and the ACT centers.

Starting a routine of active living through simple walks and recreational physical activity can help to lower your weight and improve your overall health when put into practice. In addition to exercise, decreasing unhealthy eating can contribute to improved heart health as well. Regularly scheduled checkups can aid in knowing your numbers and progressing towards good heart health. These ingredients of exercise, a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and having regular medical checkups will guide you on the path to a healthy heart.