According to the American Heart Association, about 2200 Americans die each day from heart disease. That’s about one every 40 seconds and 46 % of them have uncontrolled high blood pressure. Taking care of your blood pressure and blood sugars are important aspects to taking care of your health. Not to mention they decrease your risk of heart attacks and strokes by 45%. Eating healthier, being active, and drinking water also helps us take control of our health.

Did you know that laughing may actually help your heart? According to Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, attending cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, laughter can decrease stress hormones, reduce artery inflammation, and increase HDL or the “good” cholesterol. Once you start laughing, it forces you to feel better and the effects can last 24 hours.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to a variety of diseases and conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels.

The two most common cardiovascular diseases are heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading cause of death in Hawaii. The good news is that CVD is largely preventable, so this is a health crisis we can solve. 29.7 percent Native Hawaiian adults have high blood pressure and 32.3 percent Native Hawaiian adults have high cholesterol which are risk factors to heart attacks and strokes.

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Sources: OHA Native Hawaiian Health Fact sheet 2017 & State of Hawaii Dept. of Health stroke