Heart Disease Prevention Activities

The New York State Department of Health works with many partners and contractors to develop and implement a range of heart disease and stroke prevention programs in community and health care settings.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a symptomless "silent killer" that damages blood vessels and leads to serious health threats. If you have or are at risk for hypertension, you should monitor your blood pressure regularly. Monitoring your blood pressure can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

NYSDOH is working to prevent and control hypertension by supporting the implementation and spread of the evidence-based strategies promoted by the Million Hearts® initiative and CDC and through targeted health system interventions.

Sodium (salt) is a mineral that's essential for life and that helps control your body's fluid balance. But when there's extra sodium in your blood stream, it can cause your blood pressure to increase.

NYSDOH works with food service directors to reduce sodium by encouraging worksites, schools, retail stores, hospitals, and other institutions to increase the availability of and promote consumption of lower-sodium foods. Visit NYSDOH Nutrition for tools and resources to reduce sodium.

If your health care provider thinks you have symptoms of diabetes, he or she may recommend that you get tested. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels carefully. Talk with your health care team about treatment options. Your doctor may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help keep your blood sugar under good control—those actions will help reduce your risk for heart disease.

NYSDOH is working to prevent and control diabetes by promoting and spreading the National Diabetes Prevention Program, Diabetes Self-Management Education, and Diabetes Self-Management Programs. Go to NYSDOH Diabetes to learn more.

Physical activity and a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.

NYSDOH is working to prevent and control obesity across all sectors; community, worksite, school, child care, and health care. Efforts to increase opportunities for physical activity, increase availability and accessibility of healthier foods, and promote breastfeeding are taking place through a variety of programs across New York State. Go to NYSDOH Obesity Prevention to learn more.

Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Talk to your health care provider about quitting and medications that might be right for you.

NYSDOH works to prevent initiation of tobacco use by youth and young adults; reduce tobacco use among adults; eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke; and contribute to the science of tobacco control. Go to NYSDOH Tobacco Control Program to learn more.