Heart disease, strokes remain leading causes of death

February is American Heart Month, and the Southern Nevada Health District will provide free blood pressure screenings at its 280 S. Decatur Blvd. location on Friday, February 7, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Health District is also reminding Nevadans to take steps to protect their heart health by discussing their risks, such as high blood pressure, with their health care providers and learn how to reduce those risk factors. 

The Health District’s Get Healthy Clark County website’s Million Hearts page offers tools, information, and resources for the public as well as health care providers. In addition, information and resources are available on the Spanish-language website Viva Saludable.

In Nevada, heart disease and stroke continue to be among the leading causes of death. Each December, the United Health Foundation releases its America’s Health Rankings Annual Report. The 2019 report supports the need for heart health education, resources, and outreach to members of the community. The report also found Nevada’s age-adjusted number of deaths due to all cardiovascular disease was 302.6 per 100,000 population — an increase from 294.2 per 100,000 population in 2018. The age-adjusted number for the United States was 260.4 per 100,000 population.

In the United States, an estimated one in three people has heart disease, which remains a leading cause of death. The good news is that there are steps everyone can take to reduce the risk of heart disease, called the ABCS of heart disease risk management. Aspirin therapy as directed, Blood pressure control, lower Cholesterol levels, and quitting Smoking – can help lower heart disease risks. By implementing changes to diet, increasing physical activity, and quitting smoking, most people can reduce their risk of heart disease. 

One of the Health District’s most successful initiatives, the Barbershop Health Outreach Project, addresses some of the disparities among racial and ethnic minorities; these communities continue to be disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease. Black adults between the ages of 45 and 54 are more than four times as likely to have a stroke for the first time compared with white adults of the same age. Barbershops were identified as places where men gather and as ideal venues for providing outreach and education in a familiar and comfortable environment. The program model has also been expanded to include beauty shops. For more information about the Barbershop Health Outreach Project and a schedule of screenings, visit the  Get Healthy Clark County Manage Your Risk/Heart Disease webpage.

Health care providers also have access to Health District resources that can assist them when talking to patients about making better choices that can improve their health. The Get Healthy Clark County website provides information for both health care professionals and patients. The Health Care section contains resources that include the High Blood Pressure Resource Toolkit and the Stroke Resource Toolkit.

Additional resources on the Health District’s Get Healthy Clark County website include the Tobacco Prevention resource section. Available materials include brief tobacco-use interventions that providers can present to their patients as well as information about the Nevada Tobacco Quitline. Nevada residents, ages 13 and older who are seeking help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, can contact the Nevada Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) from a Nevada area code.

The Health District also offers a variety of programs and mobile apps that can support people on the journey to a healthier lifestyle. The Road to Diabetes Prevention is a free online program that helps users reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The Health District and its partners also offer additional resources including Diabetes Self-Management Classes and a bilingual Nevada Diabetes Resources Directory with information about classes, prevention, clinics, specialists, support groups.

Available apps include Neon to Nature, which allows users to search for walking, hiking, and horse trails in Southern Nevada based on location, amenities, level of difficulty, and more. Half My Plate provides a fun way to motivate users to eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s based on the USDA recommendations, and the app is a customizable tracker that helps users reach their goals for a healthy diet by inspiring them to make half their plate fruits and vegetables. For more information and additional Health District apps, go to the Mobile Apps webpage.

Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.