Eau Claire Heart Walk celebrates drop in heart disease deaths

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Across the nation heart disease continues to be the number one killer but in Wisconsin those statistics are dropping.

The American Heart Association says heart disease is now the number two killer in the state.

It's not just being physically active that's important to prevent heart disease and stroke but the heart association says it's also education.

Through raising awareness by hosting walks and fundraising events Jennifer Eaton says they’re helping to prevent deaths in Wisconsin.

“We are reaching our goals and that's all through advocacy through our education, our research, partnering with health care providers,” said Eaton. “So, we are making a difference and people are hearing that message, it's resonating.”

Mayo Clinic Health System attributes the drop to awareness causing patients to take a proactive approach to their health.

“We're not getting people when they're really sick anymore. They're coming in right before they get the really severe symptoms such as heart failure. We are probably seeing the same amount just not as sick,” said physician assistant Gloria Krueger.

To improve overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or think of it as thirty minutes a day, five times a week, and it can be something as simple as walking..

Krueger explained, “You can separate that through the day. Do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch time and 10 in the evening. It doesn't all have to be at once but get your heart rate up.”

For the 700 participants expected at this Saturday’s Heart Walk at Carson Park, Eaton says it will be a celebration for survivors as well as an opportunity for education.

“It speaks volumes,” said Eaton. “It says, ‘We want healthier lifestyles. We want to live longer. We want to make the right choices and get fit and active.’ Eau Claire represents that really, really well.”

Mayo Clinic Health System does recommend check-ups especially for those experiencing symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath or heart palpitations.

Saturday’s Heart Walk begins at 9a.m. with the options to walk either 1-mile or 3-miles.

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