The Silent Killer: Heart Disease Takes More Lives In Utah Than Cancer And COVID-19
February is National Heart Health Month. So how's your heart?
A lot of people forget that the No. 1 killer in the United States is heart disease.
Every year about 210 people for every 100,000 population die from heart disease.
To put that in perspective, in the state of Utah more than 7,000 people die from heart disease every year. In Washington County, about 420 people die from the malady.
In California, the nation's most populous state, more than 82,000 people died by way of heart disease last year.
The point is that public officials are begging people to take this seriously. More people die from heart disease than those who succumb to cancer, Covid-19, car accidents, diabetes, drug overdoses and accidents in the home.
The National Health Institute offers a few tips to help you take care of your heart:
- Get Enough Quality Sleep
- Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which can help you create a heart-healthy eating style for life.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Stay hydrated with water as your primary beverage.
- Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity (like running) exercise per week
- Be More Active -- Getting enough physical activity helps to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke
- Sit less! Take the stairs. Park farther away. March in place or take a walk around the block.
- Try muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing sit-ups and pushups, or some forms of yoga—whatever works for you.
- Stop Smoking Any amount of smoking, even light or occasional smoking, damages your heart and blood vessels.
- Try the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Program which combines diet, physical activity, and weight management to help lower high blood cholesterol and improve heart health.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Use relaxation techniques that combine breathing and focused attention on pleasing thoughts and images to calm the mind and body.
- Have your blood pressure checked each time you visit the doctor.
- Try to do at least one positive action for your heart health each day.
- Make the doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off.
- Ask family and friends to text you reminders or encouragement to help you meet your health goals.
Visit hearttruth.gov for more information.
Vegas Water Abusers Being Fined -- Could Washington County Be Next?
Recently the Las Vegas Water District announced that nearly 60,000 customers -- about 1 in 6 total households -- are being fined for misuse/overuse of the desert's most precious resource, water.
The fines, levied at the top water abusers via a new law, total $12.8 million. Some of the fined customers use as much as two and three times the amount of average households. An average household of 3-4 people uses approximately 11,000 gallons of water per month. Several of the worst abusers in the Las Vegas area were using upwards of 27,000 gallons of water per month.
Officials from the LVWD, who said "price drives water use," passed the ordinance in 2022 and the fines began taking effect 2023.
So are fines coming to Utah and specifically Washington County anytime soon?
"It's a possibility, but we prefer education first, because it has worked," said Washington County commissioner Adam Snow while on the Andy Griffin Show Tuesday. "Washington County did a massive education campaign and while we grew five percent (in population), we went down four million gallons of water."
In the summer months, Washington County residents do use between 25,000 and 30,000 gallons of water a month, but that number shrinks to 6,000-7,000 gallons a month when the weather cools, according to Washington County Water District general manager Zach Renstrom.
The year-round average is about 16,000 gallons per month in our county.
Renstrom added that the new homes being built are held to a much stricter standard of water usage and "new homes built today use around 10,000 gallons a month," even in the hottest months of July and August.
So, for now, there will be no fines for excess water usage in the county.
The fee schedule for water usage is still graduated (the more you use, the higher the rate), but Washington County residents can rest assured no fines will be coming their way.
At least not yet.
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Gallery Credit: Stacker