Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fewer dying of heart disease, more at risk

So far in the 21st Century, fewer Coloradans are dying of cardiovascular disease. But the future is uncertain as more of us develop the risk factors that lead to heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure is pervasive, obesity rates have doubled and too few Coloradans get the nutritious food and daily activity needed to keep their hearts healthy.

Heart disease is the second and stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in Colorado. Coloradans with cardiovascular disease have more days of depression, illness and physical inactivity and fewer years of life than those without heart problems. Heart disease alone in Colorado accounted for more than 75,000 years of potential life lost in 2008, with the average sufferer dying 13 years before his or her life expectancy.

Despite these gloomy statistics, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment can continue to make real progress in reducing heart disease by working with statewide partners to focus on education, screening and interventions aimed at changing those risk-inducing behaviors and environmental factors that lead to cardiovascular disease.

Research shows that daily consumption of fruits or vegetables and moderate or strenuous physical exercise are protective against the development of cardiovascular disease. Continuing collaborative efforts to reduce obesity, increase physical activity and improve diet can ensure fewer Coloradans suffer and die from heart disease and stroke.

At the Heart of the Matter: 2011 Report on Heart Disease and Stroke in Colorado provides a wealth of information on cardiovascular disease in Colorado. Please review this report, share its with your colleagues and continue to work with us to keep Colorado heart healthy.

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