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Decrease in heart disease is a benefit statewide

Good news came out of the Mississippi Department of Health this week with newly announced figures on heart disease.

The disease, which usually refers to heart conditions such as coronary heart disease, decreased blood flow and heart attacks, is killing fewer people.

Mississippi can boast a 19.6 percent decrease in deaths due to heart disease from the 2004-2013 time frame. To break it down, women saw a 22.5 percent decrease and men a 17.8 percent decrease.

In particular, a group that has been targeted as most at risk, black women, made tremendous strides at reducing heart disease, with reported cases down 25 percent over the past 10 years.

High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49 percent of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors.

Efforts to get residents up and moving, like Healthy Hometown, eating healthier, like Good Food for Oxford Schools, and more are paying off, it appears, as are statewide efforts. No-smoking rules at workplaces and government offices are also kicking a fatal habit.

Keep up the good work and encourage others to do the same.