Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction - Healthy Communities Program
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.
- 40% of Macomb County residents are overweight (BMI 25.1-29.9)*
- 23% of Macomb County residents are obese (BMI > 30) *
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:
Ranges (Top Number/Bottom Number)
<120 and <80
120-139 and/or 80-89
>140 and/or >90
- 25% of Macomb County residents have high 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.
- 31% of Macomb County residents have high cholesterol*
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.
- 24% of Macomb County residents are current smokers*
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)
- 69% of Macomb County residents do not meet the recommendations for moderate physical activity*
*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:
Move More Macomb
Move More Macomb is an initiative of the Macomb County Health Department to increase physical activity. Regular physical activity can improve health and reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease. Move More Macomb was created to help community members find physical activity opportunities for all fitness levels, ages and costs. Our mission is simple: we want everyone who lives, works and plays in Macomb County to move more!
You can visit MoveMoreMacomb.org to find out what to know and where to go to be physically active in Macomb County. Move More Macomb answers questions about physical activity: what it is, when you need it, why you need it, where to go to be active, and how to get started. The website features parks and trails, adaptive recreation opportunities (inclusive and accessible for all abilities), educational and fitness classes, recreation and senior centers, sports, walk/run/bike groups, and an attractions map. The website can be reached on a desktop or mobile device.
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) 412-3391.
For more information on any of the Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction, please contact (586) 412-3399 or email us now.