How to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

By Paul Eilers on 5:57 PM

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  • Heart disease and stroke are the #1 and #3 causes of death in Arkansas.
  • The total cardiovascular disease death rate in Arkansas is the 5th highest in the U.S.
  • High blood pressure is reported by 30.5% of adult Arkansans.
  • The Stroke death rate in Arkansas is the highest in the U.S.
  • The Diabetes frequency in Arkansas increased 1994-2000 (5.4% to 6.2%) to 7.4% in 2005.
  • Arkansas ranks 7th in the nation in obesity (BMI>30) with 28.0% of adults being obese.
  • Of Arkansas children 0-5 years of age, 20.4% (%>95th) are obese.
  • Of Arkansas student’s 9th-12th grades, 34% describe themselves as overweight.
  • In 2000, total hospital charges in Arkansas for cardiovascular disease totaled over $1 billion dollars.
Source: Arkansas Heart Health


In 2006, Arkansas has a larger percentage of tobacco smokers than the national average, with 24% of adults smoking.

The national average is 20.8% according to Cigarette Smoking Among Adults --- United States, 2006 article in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Smoking contributes to heart disease and stroke because it increases blood pressure. When people smoke, their blood vessels constrict, forcing the heart to work harder in order to pump blood through the cardiovascular system.

Want a sure way to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke?

Don't smoke.

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