American Heart Association, City Officials report on Pasadena’s State of Heart Health
Eric Walsh, MD, MPH, City of Pasadena Public Health Department Director/Health Officer along with Vyshali Rao, MD, American Heart Association (AHA) Greater Los Angeles Division Board Member and Cardiologist at Huntington Hospital were among the many speakers at a press conference on Valentine’s Day held outside Macy’s on South Lake in Pasadena.
In honor of Heart Month, the American Heart Association joined in with Pasadena City officials in sharing a profile of heart health in Pasadena, the steps the city has taken, in collaboration with the AHA, to foster heart health among its residents, and plans for the future. Huntington Hospital also offered free BP screenings.
Heart disease and stroke are the nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers, claiming more than 831,000 lives every year. In Pasadena, 217 residents die each year from coronary heart disease and 44 die of stroke. Mortality rates from heart disease and stroke has declined sharply in Los Angeles County. Between 1997 and 2007, heart disease and stroke deaths dropped by 41 percent and 39 percent, respectively, translating to about 11,000 lives saved annually from these diseases. Despite these encouraging numbers, heart disease mortality in LA County remains 12 percent higher than for the country as a whole. In addition, some of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease – such as high blood pressure, physical inactivity and obesity – have not seen the same decline and are in fact rising. For example, the rate of overweight adults in Pasadena is close to 38 percent, while the rate of Pasadena smokers is 10 percent. If this does not stop, we are likely to begin seeing an increase in cardiovascular diseases, and at an earlier age.