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Wear red on Friday to support healthy hearts

Published 2:33am Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Special to the Daily News

Friday, wear red in support of heart health.
During February, the Beaufort County Health Department will observe American Heart Month, which is dedicated to educating people about heart disease and stroke.  The American Heart Association announced as Wear Red for Women Day.  This day was created in 2004 to empower women to take control of their heart health.
Heart disease is a range of illnesses, which include coronary heart disease, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms), heart infections and heart defects. The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease. This happens when plaque builds up in arteries and prevents oxygenated blood from getting to the heart. The plaque makes the artery smaller until there is little blood flow or completely closes the artery and there is no blood flow.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 600,000 deaths in the United States annually because of heart disease. That is one in every four deaths. In 2010, there were 135 deaths in Beaufort County linked to heart disease, which was an increase from 2009.
The most effective ways in preventing health disease is by maintaining a healthy weight, know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and keep them at the target levels and quit smoking. To maintain a healthy weight, a person should eat a balanced diet and get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Stress is a contributing factor to heart problems. Physical activity, such as walking a dog, can be beneficial in relieving stress and improving heart health.
To learn more about heart health and ways to prevent heart disease, contact Kelli Russell, human services planner III with the Beaufort County Health Department, at 940-6528.

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