Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death in Macomb County. The Macomb County Health Department offers comprehensive disease risk reduction services for residents.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Risk Factors
Overweight or obese
Health risks are greater at higher levels of overweight and obesity. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The current standard used to categorize weight is body mass index (BMI). It is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of the height in meters. For an easy calculator click here.
High Blood Pressure
Regardless of race, age or gender, anyone can develop high blood pressure. This condition is often called the "silent killer" because it typically does not show any warning signs before the damage to your body is done. Over time, high blood pressure could be in the process of causing a stroke, heart attack, arteriosclerosis, kidney damage or even blindness and there would be no symptoms present to warn you. It is no wonder why blood pressure is one of the first things a health care professional checks when you make a visit.
The following are current guidelines for blood pressure:
The higher your blood cholesterol, the higher your risk of getting heart disease. If there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it starts to "stick" to the walls of the arteries. The build-up causes a narrowing of the artery, which can slow or block blood from getting through. If this narrowing occurs in your heart, you could have a heart attack. If this happens in your brain, you could have a stroke. To find out the current cholesterol guidelines click here.
Smoking is a preventable risk factor which also contributes to the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. More men and women in the United States have died from cardiovascular disease attributed to smoking than from cancer. Twenty-one percent of all coronary heart disease deaths in the United States each year are attributed to smoking. Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among middle-aged men and women. The risk of ischemic stroke is nearly doubled by smoking. Smoking accounted for 18% of all stroke deaths. More than 170,000 Americans die from smoking related cardiovascular disease each year.
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It improves circulation, helps maintain a healthy weight, lowers blood pressure, lowers total cholesterol and raises your HDL (good) cholesterol. To achieve health benefits, perform any moderate activity for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week. Examples include walking, riding a bike, swimming or any other activity that elevates your heart rate. To find family friendly places for physical activity, download our Out and About in Macomb County booklet. (pdf file)
*Source 2005 Macomb County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey
In response to the severity of cardiovascular disease in Macomb County, the Health Department offers the following services:
Cardiovascular Disease Screening Services
Community Based Screenings
Screening services are offered at various locations within the county. Specially trained staff screen residents for cardiovascular disease risk factors, assess family history, and measure blood pressure. These screenings are provided free of charge. To inquire about screening locations, please call (586) 412-3387.
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction staff provide on-site screening services. These services mirror that of the community based screenings and also include total and HDL cholesterol analysis. There is a nominal fee for this service. For more information, please call (586) 412-3387.
Today's children are at high risk for developing many chronic diseases later in life due to obesity and lack of physical activity. These conditions include heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. Unfortunately, childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Over the last three decades, the number of children that are classified as overweight has almost tripled. Children, ages 2 to 18, spend an average of four hours a day watching television, playing video games or using a computer. Seventeen percent of American children are watching television more than five hours each day. These youth are 8.3 times more likely to be overweight than children who watch television for two hours or less. In efforts to combat this trend, the Macomb County Health Department has developed several age appropriate, school-based programs.
Healthy Kids - Healthy Hearts
The Healthy Kids ~ Healthy Hearts Program is a NACo award winning, four-part program designed to teach 4th grade students in Macomb County healthy habits that will help prevent cardiovascular disease. The program targets key lifestyle elements including physical activity, nutrition and tobacco use. For four consecutive weeks, the staff meets with the students for one hour. During this time, the students are involved with interactive group activities addressing CVD risk factors. In addition, students participate in the "Healthy Hearts Challenge" and earn points by engaging in healthy behaviors outside of the classroom. Incentive prizes are awarded to supplement the lessons. For more information or to schedule this program for the 4th graders in your school, please call (586) 412-3387. Download a copy of our Healthy Hearts Program Brochure for more information.
Macomb in Motion
In an effort to teach children that healthy habits begin at an early age, this one-time interactive presentation is designed to teach kids the importance of getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. In addition, the concept of limiting screen time (television, computer and video games) is addressed. This presentation is available for kindergarten through fifth grade. For more information, or to schedule a presentation for your school please call (586) 412-3387.
Be Smart, Eat Smart
To stress the importance of making healthy food and beverage choices, this interactive presentation involves fun activities and demonstrations that engage the students. This one-time presentation is available for kindergarten through fifth grade. For more information, or to schedule a presentation for your school, please call (586) 412-3387.
Cardiovascular diseases are America's number 1 killer and a leading cause of disability. An alarming number of people have risk factors that increase the odds that they will one day suffer a heart attack or stroke, or develop coronary artery disease. In an effort to increase awareness and help reduce coronary heart disease deaths, the Macomb County Health Department has developed, "Heart Health for Seniors," an educational program specifically for senior citizen groups.
Heart Health for Seniors
Heart Health for Seniors was designed with a two-fold emphasis: to assist seniors in making "heart" health a priority and to recognize and control cardiovascular disease risk factors. Concepts discussed include: controllable and uncontrollable risk factors for developing heart disease; actions that can be taken to help decrease the risk; and the impact of cardiovascular disease. Handouts on related topics of blood pressure, cholesterol, exercise, for example, reinforce the information presented. This one-hour session is available to senior citizens in small group settings. For more information, or to schedule a presentation, please call (586) 412-3387.
For more information on any of the Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Programs, please contact (586) 412-3391 or email us now.