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Published on July 21st, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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New Million Hearts® Initiative Launched in Richland County

Campaign Offers Free Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Screenings this Summer

The CDC Foundation, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health has launched a new cardiovascular disease prevention campaign called “Healthy is Strong” in Richland County. This local effort is focused on increasing awareness to prevent heart attacks and strokes among African-American men between the ages of 40 to 65 in Richland County, where there is a high incidence of cardiovascular disease.

In addition to a suite of educational materials and community events, free cardiovascular screenings will be offered this summer for those who qualify to determine whether they are at risk for high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

  • Ongoing screenings will be taking place in Richland County this summer starting today through the end of August.
  • If you are an African-American man between the ages of 40 to 65 and interested in a free cardiovascular screening, please call Quest Diagnostics at 855-623-9355 to see if you qualify.
  • For more information, you can also visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/resources/healthyisstrong.html

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African-American men are 25% more likely to die from heart disease, compared to non-Hispanic white men. Americans suffer 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes each year, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Although death rates for heart disease and stroke have decreased in the U.S. inrecent decades, rates for incidence and death continue to be high, especially among some populations in the Southeastern U.S., such as Richland County. Given heart attacks and stroke are largely avoidable by managing medical conditions and making lifestyle changes, awareness about prevention is paramount and taking advantage of this program’s free cardiovascular screenings is a key first step.

“We’re all at risk for heart disease and stroke. However, certain groups—including African Americans—are at higher risk than others,” said David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities and former Surgeon General of the United States. “The fact that heart attacks and strokes are preventable is such a critically important message, and the ‘Healthy is Strong’ campaign has the potential to make a real difference in Richland County.”

The “Healthy is Strong” program will elevate and advance the work of Million Hearts®, a national initiative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The key goals for this local program are to 1) increase awareness that heart attacks and strokes are preventable particularly among African-American men; 2) empower and activate patients in Richland County; and 3) inform public health efforts to advance the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Heart disease and stroke touch millions in the United States today. Getting screened for cardiovascular disease sooner rather than later has the potential to help those at higher risk—and their families—lead lives free of heart attack and stroke.

This initiative is made possible through funding support from Pfizer and in-kind testing donations from Quest Diagnostics to the CDC Foundation.

 

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