Heart Disease: Deadly Across Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Experts say it’s the number one killer of men and women in South Dakota, claiming lives every single day. We’re talking about heart disease.

Heart disease is a real problem in Sioux Falls. There are steps people can take to reduce their risk, like eating enough fruits and vegetables, not smoking, and getting enough physical activity.

“People can take little steps at a time,” said Mary Michaels, the Public Health Prevention Coordiantor at the Sioux Falls Health Department. “Maybe it’s just introducing a new fruit or vegetable into your diet. Getting an extra ten minute walk in during the day.”

However, Sioux Falls isn’t taking those steps. 20% of adults in Sioux Falls are still smokers. Less than 12% are eating enough fruits and vegetables.

The surrounding communities are struggling as well. Less than half of people in South Dakota are getting enough physical activity.

“Then another one that we’ve really been concerned in the Sioux Falls area is blood pressure,” said Michaels.

Nurse Stacey Swenson from the Health Department says that 120/80 is the ideal blood pressure for somebody.

It might seem daunting, but the health department says that the best way to motivate yourself is to keep heart disease is close to their heart in more way than one.

”A lot of times it’s very personal,” said Michaels. “They may have had somebody impacted by heart disease, maybe lost a loved one and they want to make sure that they’re around for their kids or their grandkids. That can be a really big motivator when you find that why.”

Why a simple blood pressure test or walk around the block can keep your heart beating strong.

Half of adults in Sioux Falls have high blood pressure. However, Mary Michaels from the health department says she’s optimistic about getting Sioux Falls heart-healthy. They have a number of events planned in the upcoming months.

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