Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in Mississippi. You can prevent heart disease and stroke by simply getting active, eating smart, and getting regular checkups.
Mississippi is one of the top states in the nation for heart attack and stroke deaths. Obesity, smoking, diet, and inactivity bring heart disease to Mississippians early in life and cuts their lives short. Almost 8,000Mississippians a year die from heart disease.
What You Can Do
Whether you’re young or old, taking simple steps now can lower your risk of heart disease — and they’re the same steps that reduce your risk of cancer and diabetes as well.
- Move more: Get a few minutes of brisk physical activity whenever you can, or dedicate half an hour a day to a walk or other enjoyable way to move. Ways to get moving »
- Eat smart: Vegetables and fruits rather than meats and sweets can make a profound change in your health. Choosing the right foods isn’t hard. Steps to smart eating »
- Quit smoking: Quitting tobacco is the best first step in improving your heart health. It’s easier with free help from the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline. Free help quitting »
- See your doctor regularly: A yearly checkup can detect problems before they become serious. Men especially need checkups »
By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar normal and lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack. A healthy lifestyle includes the following:
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Getting enough physical activity.
- Not smoking or using other forms of tobacco.
- Limiting alcohol use.
Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.
Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. Limiting sugar in your diet can lower you blood sugar level to prevent or help control diabetes.
For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program website.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease. To determine if your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to calculate excess body fat. They may use special equipment to calculate excess body fat and hydration status.
Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.
For more information, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Web site.
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk of heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
For more information about tobacco use and quitting, see CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1. For more information, visit CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health Web site.
Categories: State News