The Indiana Department of Health Reports about a quarter of Hoosiers smoke, a third has high blood pressure, and 40 percent have high cholesterol.
The state is hoping to raise awareness about the physical and monetary impact of getting healthier by participating in World Heart Day, Sunday, to encourage people to fight heart against disease and stroke.
"What we really want is for people to know their numbers, know what their blood pressure reading is, know what their cholesterol levels are, and then to have a conversation with their physician about if they are at risk," said state Health Department Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve.
She says smoking and obesity are not only hurting physical well-being, but also the state’s economic well-being
"If we follow the trend in terms of heart disease and cardiovascular events over time, we estimate now that there has been a 75 percent increase in the total cost," said Duwve, "and that it should currently exceed about $21 billion."
She says there needs to be a cultural shift which is done by helping residents be aware of the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle. Duwve believes establishing a positive habits early is important to preventing problems later on.
"Cardiovascular disease often has an onset early in life," she said. "Of course children may not have symptoms, but it's early in life when you set the stage for having a healthy heart later in life."
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the state, responsible for almost one-third of all Hoosier deaths.