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Love your heart

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year. Compared to women in urban areas, women in rural communities have higher cardiovascular disease risk. 

SC DHEC breakdown

  • Heart disease was the leading cause of death in South Carolina for 2020. 
  • Heart disease is South Carolina’s leading cause of death for African American women. In 2020, 1,401 African American women died from heart disease in the state. 
  • Heart disease accounted for 75,886 hospitalizations in South Carolina during 2020, with total hospitalization charges of more than $6.8 billion. 

The answer

Take an active role in your health.

  • Regular physical activity could reduce one’s risk of having high blood pressure by nearly 20 percent. 
  • Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily. 

In addition, the AHA supports advancing health equity to improve disparities in health among underserved populations. 

The players

Dr. Jewel Scott, college of nursing assistant professor, is a cardiovascular health researcher studying the development of health over time. Her focus is stress and adversity to cardiovascular health and factors that promote health and wellbeing, especially in adolescent and young adult women of color. Scott uses her clinical practice experience in community health centers with uninsured and underinsured individuals in urban and rural environments to inform her research.

What they’re saying

“Most people don’t realize that heart disease is the second leading cause of death among young adults (ages 25 - 44). From an equity lens, young Black women are disproportionately affected by heart disease, so my research seeks to tailor care to their needs," says Scott. "In addition, novel risk factors such as pregnancy complications, chronic stress, and depressive symptoms are important considerations to optimize the heart health of young Black women.”

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