The American Heart Association’s mission is to create a world free of heart disease and stroke – a world where everyone can achieve the best possible health – and it starts right here Colorado.
Short distances can mean big differences. Health isn’t just about a person’s behavior. It’s also about place—a person’s zip code can impact health as much as their genetic code. Recent Census data shows the life-expectancy gap between zip codes in Colorado can be more than five years.
That’s why the American Heart Association is working to raise awareness about the vital effect lifestyle has on health, especially poor nutrition, and inactivity, and to help everyone form healthy habits that will last a lifetime by removing obstacles to making healthy choices.
In Colorado, the American Heart Association is focused on the areas within our state’s communities where there is an opportunity to make the greatest impact. Here’s a snapshot of the lifesaving work the American Heart Association is doing right here in Colorado:
- Rural areas see higher rates of tobacco use, physical inactivity and obesity, which have given rise to higher rates of diabetes and hypertension. A Colorado community-based healthcare system adopted an annual requirement for blood pressure training and regular skills checks for their frontline staff. This important addition will provide care for system’s 25,000 rural Colorado patients across their 16 sites in Southern Colorado.
- Of the approximately 480,000 Americans who die from smoking each year, 35% of those deaths are from cardiovascular disease. In Colorado, the American Heart Association is committed to combating the tremendous toll tobacco use has on our community. With the support of local and national organizations, we were able to successfully co-lead a campaign that restricts the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Edgewater.
- The American Heart Association knows that making nutritious food more accessible and affordable is critical to cardiovascular health.That’s why the organization has teamed up with the Athmar Active Living Coalition to support seasonal community markets where residents can buy affordable, heart healthy produce.
Through these initiatives listed above and others, the American Heart Association Colorado team is working hard to be champions for health equity and being a relentless forces across the state.