About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Healthier hearts in Virginia
State health officials are celebrating a drop in Virginia’s death rate from heart disease. Heart disease remains the state’s and nation’s leading killer. But between 1998 and 2008, the death rate from cardiovascular disease in Virginia declined 44 percent. That means, according to Dr. Karen Remley, state health commissioner, that there were 1,347 Virginians alive in 2008 who would have been dead had the drop not occurred.
Obesity, smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure contribute to heart disease, Remley said. She and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling held a press conference this morning to encourage people to be physically active, eat right and lose weight.
“No matter how overweight you might be, no matter how sedentary you might be, it is not too late to change that,” Bolling said. “Small steps can make a big difference in your ability to be healthier and live longer.”
Bolling said he’s lost 30 pounds since the start of a heart challenge program he started in 2008.
Virginia Health Information has the latest cardiac care data at its Web site here.