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Hawai‘i Residents Are Having a Change of Heart

As World Heart Day draws near, it’s time to recognize the many things Hawai‘i residents are doing in their lives to change their heart health! From eating more seafood rich in the Omega-3s (great for your heart!), to staying active (surfing, hiking, walking, jogging, etc.), to quitting smoking or vaping, Hawai‘i residents have many opportunities to take action and improve their heart health.

On Friday, September 29th, 2017 we will all celebrate “World Heart Day” with the theme “Share the Power.” It’s a day when people across the state and around the world acknowledge and embrace this mantra:

“Small changes can make a powerful difference. On World Heart Day, share how you
power your heart and inspire millions of people around the world to be heart healthy.”
1

Individuals, groups, and organizations from many countries across the globe are participating in a variety of ways, such as sharing the message through Facebook posts, Instagram photos, and tweets and bringing groups and organizations together for planned events. World Heart Day is shaping up to be a very special occurrence this year – and it’s a good thing for everyone involved!

Heart Disease is the #1 Killer in Hawai‘i – and in the U.S. Many things contribute to heart, coronary artery, and cardiovascular disease and stroke, including:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Low Levels of Physical Activity

Did You Know?

  • One person in the U.S. has a cardiac event every 25 seconds2
  • One person dies from coronary event every second2

It is clearly time for a “Change of Heart” here in Hawai‘i, and nationwide. Fortunately, there are things you can do right now and every day to improve your heart health, like eating healthier and adding physical activity to your daily routine to help change your heart health for the better.

Quitting Smoking is the #1 Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Heart Health1 – now and in the future. Quitting reduces your chances of heart disease and stroke, and it protects those around you, too. Many people don’t realize that the benefits of quitting smoking start immediately in your body and get better and better as more time goes by.

There Are Immediate & Long-Term Benefits to Quitting Smoking3:

  • Within 20 minutes – your blood pressure, pulse rate and the temperature of your hands and feet return to normal
  • Within 12 hours – your blood oxygen level increases to normal
  • Within 48 hours – damaged nerve endings have started to regrow, and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal; and your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free
  • 10 days to 2 weeks – blood circulation in your gums and teeth are now similar to a non-smoker
  • 2 weeks to 3 months – your heart attack risk has started to drop, and your lung function is beginning to improve
  • 3 weeks to 3 months – your circulation has substantially improved; walking has become easier; your chronic cough (if any) has disappeared
  • 8 weeks – insulin resistance has normalized
  • 1 to 9 months – any smoking-related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath has decreased; your body’s overall energy has increased
  • 1 year – your excess risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker
  • 2 years – your risk of coronary artery disease is substantially reduced
  • 5 years – in females, the risk of developing diabetes is now that of a non-smoker
  • 5 to 15 years – your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker
  • 10 years – your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is between 30%-50% of that of a continuing smoker; risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half of an “average smoker” (one pack per day); your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas have declined; the risk of developing diabetes for both men and women is now similar to that of a never-smoker
  • 13 years – your risk of smoking-induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker (a smoker who lives to age 75 has 5.8 fewer teeth than a non-smoker, for example)
  • 15 years – your risk of coronary heart disease/cardiovascular disease returns to that of a non-smoker; your risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker
  • 20 years – female excess risk of death from all smoking-related causes, including lung disease and cancer, has now reduced to that of a never-smoker

Empowering People & Sharing Ways You Power Your Heart

The Hawai‘i Tobacco Quitline empowers individuals in Hawai‘i to live happier, healthier lives. We’re here for you and invite you on World Heart Day, to call us – and “Share the Power.”  Together with our quit coaches learn how we all have the power to change our lives – and sometimes the lives of others, too. From those who’ve already quit smoking or vaping, to those fighting to quit right now, to the family, friends, and colleagues who support their loved ones who are working to quit.  We will help you power your heart to quit, to stay quit and support others in their journey to quit.  You will be an inspiration for others – your friends, family, children, co-workers, and neighbors. Change your heart, and then share your power.

Tell us what you’re doing to change your heart health or support someone who is quitting smoking or vaping on Facebook , Instagram  and Twitter .

Sources:

1 World Heart Federation. World Heart Day at the Heart of Health. (https://www.worldheartday.org/). [accessed 2017 September 15].

2 Hawai‘i State Health Department. Chronic Disease Management and Control Branch. Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program. 2012 Coronary Heart Disease Fact Sheet. (http://health.hawaii.gov/heart-disease-stroke/files/2013/09/coronaryheartdisease.pdf) [accessed 2017 September 16]

3 WhyQuit.Com. Stop Smoking Recovery Timetable. (http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Benefits_Time_Table.html) [accessed 2017 September 19]