By: Smitha Bondade
Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News:
Los Angeles County experienced a huge milestone in the number one cause of death over the last decade. Director of the county’s public health department Dr. Jonathan Fielding says deaths from heart disease have gone down 41 percent. This means 9,000 fewer deaths annually from heart attacks. The number of deaths from strokes also went down by 2000. Dr. Fielding says there are few key reasons for the decline.
“One is public education,” Fielding said. “Secondly, important advances in both medical and surgical treatment of cardiovascular disease so that even when somebody has a disease, the risk of death from that disease has declined substantially.”
But there is still more work to do.
“We still have much higher raters of cardiovascular disease from heart attacks and strokes in African Americans,” Fielding said.
The American Heart Association defines seven ways of improving cardiovascular health.
“They’re get active, eat better, lose weight, stop smoking, control your cholesterol, manage your blood pressure and reduce your blood sugar,” said Shannon Lawrence of the heart assocation.
He says everyone can adopt a healthier lifestyle and make healthy choices.