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Heart Disease in Allamakee County

By Brandy Strub, Dietitian, Veterans Memorial Hospital

As most of you know, February is American Heart Health Month. But are you aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 382-541 per 100,000 people (age35+) from Allamakee County died from heart disease from 2018-2020. That’s higher than the state average of 310-368 per 100,000 and the national average of 319.5 per 100,000!!!

In order not to be a statistic and to prevent dying from heart disease, it is recommended that you keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars within a healthy range. What’s considered a healthy range? It’s not necessarily the same for everyone, so work with your health care professionals to see what is right for you. Eating healthy, getting active, lowering stress and not smoking is also recommended.

Eating healthy means limiting saturated fats, sodium, and added sugars and increasing your fiber intake. Per the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020: saturated fats should be limited to less than 10% of the total calories you eat and drink each day (~200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet), sodium should be limited to less than 2300mg daily (the equivalent to 1 tsp salt), added sugars should be limited to no more than 10% each day (~200 calories or 12 tsps sugar for a 2000 calorie diet), and daily fiber intake should be ~ 14gm for every 1000 calories.

The recommendation for activity is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity, according to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Activity is also a healthy way to help reduce stress, along with deep breathing, journaling, listening to music, etc.

For more info, go to, or reach out to your local health care provider at Veterans Memorial Hospital.  For help with quitting smoking, call the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.  Feel free to contact Brandy Strub, Dietitian at Veterans Memorial Hospital, for a nutrition consultation at 563-568-3411.