CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Health said on Monday, Feb. 22 that 78.3% of Wyoming adults “do not lead a healthy lifestyle.”
That is based on Wyoming Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data which shows 78.3% of adults in the state are overweight (have a body mass index (BMI) above 25), currently smoke and/or are not physically active.
Heart disease was the leading cause of death in Wyoming in both 2018 and 2019, the most recent data available from the Wyoming BRFSS.
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The WDH said on Monday that adults “can take control of their heart health by keeping a check on risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.”
“High blood pressure and high cholesterol, two of the most important risk factors for heart disease, typically do not have obvious signs or symptoms,” WDH Chronic Disease Prevention Program Prevention Specialist Amber Smith said. “So the only way to know if you have these conditions is to check both regularly.”
“Regularly monitoring your blood pressure and your cholesterol, with support from your healthcare team, can help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Self-measured blood pressure monitoring (SMBP) at home can be a great option, while medical professionals can help you learn how to manage and improve these conditions.”
Smith encourages people to talk with medical professionals about how often they should have their blood pressure measured and whether to have this done by professionals or by themselves.
“For cholesterol, doctors may recommend screening more often if a person has a family history of early heart attacks or heart disease,” the WDH said.
The department also offers a Tobacco Prevention and Control Program “with personalized quit plans, coaching support, 24/7 support and tools, free nicotine replacement therapies (patches, gum, lozenges) and free or low-cost medications. Learn more about Wyoming Quit Tobacco by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting http://www.quitwyo.org.”
Health officials are also encouraging residents to “seek emergency care immediately if they experience any signs or symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. Signs of a heart attack may include chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body and shortness of breath. Signs of a stroke include facial drooping, arm weakness and speech difficulty.”
The WDH said they work with health organizations and hospitals around the state to promote self-measured blood pressure monitoring, enhanced cholesterol management and the use of clinical team-based care.
“For more details on WDH CDPP activities, contact Smith at email@example.com or 307-777-6011,” the WDH said. “Information about the program is available at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/prevention/chronicdisease/program-map/.”
“More information about heart attack and stroke symptoms can be found at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/heart-attack-and-stroke-symptoms.”