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Tennessee Department of Health says Heart Disease Still Tennessee’s Top Cause of Death

Tennessee Department of HealthNashville, TN – While matters of the heart are top of mind near Valentine’s Day, more Tennesseans should think about them all year long to ensure healthier, longer lives.

Tennessee Department of Health data show heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the state, while stroke rated fifth in claiming lives.

Lifestyle Changes Can Save Lives [1]

Lifestyle Changes Can Save Lives

“There are three significant ways to improve heart health and they are all within reach of most Tennesseans,” said TDH Assistant Commissioner for Family Health and Wellness Morgan McDonald, MD.

“Increasing physical activity, not using tobacco and eating healthier foods in appropriate portions can help you avoid heart conditions and stroke. Those who make these choices are more likely to live longer and can be healthier to enjoy life to its fullest,” stated McDonald.

In 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, heart disease claimed the lives of 15,674 Tennesseans, which is nearly 24 percent of all deaths in the state that year. In 2014, Tennessee had the seventh highest heart disease rate and the third-highest age-adjusted stroke rate in the nation.

TDH recommends the following measures for good heart health:

“No two people are alike, so your risks of heart disease and other conditions associated with heart heath can be very different from your friends’,” said TDH Deputy Commissioner for Population Health Michael Warren, MD, MPH. “Your health care provider, through regular physical exams, can keep you informed of your heart health and help you manage conditions that can impact the quality and length of your life. One of my greatest pleasures as a physician is seeing someone become healthier by making a few changes to his or her lifestyle.”

TDH data show the significant burden of heart disease and stroke in Tennessee.

February is American Heart Month. For additional information about heart health, visit the American Heart Association at www.heart.org/HEARTORG/ [3].

About the Tennessee Department of Health

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments.

Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health [4]

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