PRESS RELEASE:
November 4, 2003

*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***

Wyoming Department of Health releases first "Burden of Cardiovascular
Disease" report; Study shows one-third of all Wyoming deaths caused by
cardiovascular disease

CHEYENNE - Wyoming Department of Health officials today announced the
first release of the "Burden of Cardiovascular Disease" report for
Wyoming. The report was compiled by the agency's cardiovascular
disease/obesity prevention program.

"The purpose of the report is to identify cardiovascular disease -
including heart disease and stroke - as the primary killer in
Wyoming," said State Health Officer Dr. Brent Sherard. The report
provides information on the burden of cardiovascular disease in
Wyoming including risk factors, cardiovascular disease prevalence, and
mortality. It also includes an overview of the cardiovascular
disease/obesity prevention program.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Wyoming and
accounted for 33 percent of all deaths in 2000. Studies show that the
risk of developing heart disease and stroke can be reduced by
modifying behaviors such as smoking, physical inactivity, and poor
nutrition, said Sherard.

The Burden of Cardiovascular Disease report is part of an effort to
strengthen the scientific capacity of the state health department to
continue to develop, implement, and evaluate cardiovascular health
promotion programs throughout the state to improve the cardiovascular
health of Wyoming citizens.

Other key findings highlighted in the document include:

- In 2000, 33 percent of all Wyoming deaths were caused by
cardiovascular disease (including stroke).

- From 1996-2000 Carbon county had the highest death rate from heart
disease in the state at 361.78 deaths per 100,000 population. The next
highest was Platte at 292.16/100,000 and Teton was the lowest with
189.14/100,000.

- From 1996-2000 Teton county had the highest death rate from stroke
in the state at 98.96/100,000. Converse was next at 93.96/100,000 and
Niobrara was the lowest at 11.33/100,000.

- From July 2000 to June 2001, cardiovascular disease accounted for 54
percent of the total cost of hospital discharges in the state (over
$246 million).

- While cardiovascular disease kills more people than any other
disease/condition, not smoking, eating right, being physically active,
and having your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly can
reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

For more information or a copy of the report, please contact Star
Heintz, MS, RD, Program Coordinator, Cardiovascular Disease/Obesity
Prevention Program, (307) 777-3732.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Joe Grandpre, Ph.D., MPH
Epidemiologist-Chronic Disease Section
Wyoming Department of Health
6101 Yellowstone Rd., Suite 259A
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone  (307) 777-8654
Fax  (307) 777-8604