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How’s your ticker? Heart disease is more common than you think.

Nearly 19% of all deaths in Minnesota are due to heart disease. Women are more susceptible than most realize.

MINNEAPOLIS — Ready for some eye-opening information on heart health? According to data from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), nearly 19% of all deaths in the state are due to heart disease. It is the second leading cause of death behind cancer. MDH says 3.9% of Minnesotans suffered heart attacks in 2017. Despite the numbers, MDH says Minnesota has the lowest heart disease mortality rate in the entire U.S. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) says cardiovascular disease causes one-third of all deaths among women. Their Go Red for Women campaign says it’s the number 1 killer of women.

Data from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) shows 1 in 4 women die from heart disease. To raise awareness and fight back against the problem, the CDC launched Million Hearts ® 2027 with the goal of preventing one million cardiovascular deaths in the next five years.


When it comes to ailments involving the heart muscle, it’s important to know the differences between the terms heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and coronary heart disease.  According to the National Institutes of Health fact sheet

  • Cardiovascular Disease – Often referred to as CVD, cardiovascular disease affects the heart and/or blood vessels. It is the overarching term for all heart ailments including heart disease, coronary heart disease, strokes, and heart defects.
  • Heart Disease – This term describes conditions that affect the way the heart functions and its physical structure. More than 1 in 10 American adults have been diagnosed with heart disease.
  • Coronary Heart Disease – This is subset of ‘heart disease’. It includes conditions like clogged arteries, plaque or calcium build-up, and blocked blood flow. Approximately 366,000 American died from coronary heart disease in 2015.

Healthy Heart Strategies             

How do you stay heart heathy? It’s not rocket science, but it does take effort and commitment.

  • Stay physically active – You don’t need a gym membership to be heart healthy. Even modest amounts of walking, riding a bike, and gardening are beneficial. Aim for 30-60 minutes of activity each day.
  • Don’t smoke – For decades doctors have been warning people about the dangers of smoking (and that includes vaping.) Listen to their advice.
  • Watch your weight – Extra pounds make your heart work harder. Losing even ten pounds can make a world of difference.
  • Reduce sodium in your diet –Manufacturers use salt to add flavor to many processed food items. That extra sodium impacts your heart health. Eat more fruits and veggies and less packaged items.
  • De-stress – The heart works harder when you are stressed out. Some healthy ways to de-stress include meditation, yoga, controlled breathing, and regular exercise.
  • Know your numbers – Three basic screenings can provide good insight into your heart’s health. Ask your doctor about regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and A1C.

Know Your Numbers

This information is provided by Health Fair 11 as part of its Know Your Numbers campaign. Health Fair 11 is a non-profit organization that operates with financial support from sponsorships and grants. KARE 11 TV is its media partner.

Health Fair 11 is currently looking for new sponsors. Contact us at healthfair@kare11.com for details. Learn more about our past projects at www.HealthFair11.org.


Cardiovascular Health Data (Minnesota Department of Health)

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (National Institutes of Health) 

National Institutes of Health Physical Activity

Million Hearts ® campaign (Dept of Health & Human Services)

Go Red for Women ® (American Heart Association)

WISEWOMAN Health Study (Center for Disease Control & Prevention)

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