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South Dakota Joins Million Hearts Movement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 20, 2013
Linda Ahrendt, (605) 773-3737 


South Dakota Joins Million Hearts Movement


PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Health is joining the Million Hearts initiative by encouraging people to take the online pledge to live longer, healthier lives.


“We’re excited for what Million Hearts can do for the overall health of South Dakota. By taking the Million Hearts pledge, people have the opportunity to turn awareness into positive action to improve their health,” said Linda Ahrendt administrator for the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the department.


Million Hearts is aimed at preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 by empowering people across the nation to make simple, healthy choices such as quitting smoking, reducing sodium and trans fat consumption.  The campaign also stresses the monitoring and management of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


“May is National Stroke Awareness Month, so it’s a great way to tie cardiovascular health in South Dakota to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts initiative,” said Ahrendt.


Almost 800,000 stokes occur in the U.S. each year, yet most people cannot identify stroke warning signs or risk factors. Some studies indicate that up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. Nationally, cardiovascular disease costs business and communities over $444 billion annually in lost productivity and health care expenses.


Million Hearts complements other tools and resources the department’s Heart Disease and Stroke program offers. People can also visit the program’s new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SDHealthyLife to take the pledge, share their stories and access tips and resources to help prevent heart disease and strokes.


To learn more about the Million Hearts initiative, visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov


Improving the health behaviors of South Dakotans to reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease is one goal of the department’s Health 2020 initiative.


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