Healthy Habits Reduce Risk For Heart Disease, Stroke

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February is American Heart Month and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control urges South Carolinians to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that can help reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.

"Heart disease and stroke are the two principal components of cardiovascular disease, which is South Carolina's leading killer for both men and women among all racial and ethnic groups," said Dory Masters, director of DHEC's Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Division. "Nearly 13 thousand South Carolinians died from cardiovascular disease in 2005, and heart disease and stroke accounted for 85,962 hospitalizations in South Carolina, with a total hospitalization cost of more than $3 billion."

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Masters said better lifestyle habits, such as making healthy food choices and making physical activity a part of your daily routine, can reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to DHEC, South Carolinians face these known risk factors for cardiovascular disease:

* Tobacco

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