Welcome to the DHA’s Healthy Living page. Below you will find the top ten health concerns in Mississippi as well as resources to find out more information about each topic.

Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death in Mississippi, accounting for over a third of all deaths in the state. Mississippi’s CVD mortality rate remains the highest in the nation.

To learn more about heart disease prevention, click here.


Obesity in children and adults is a leading health concern for Mississippi. Obesity contributes to the major chronic disease killers in the state: heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Click here to learn more.

Teenage Pregnancy

Major teen pregnancy prevention initiatives promote the postponement of sexual activity as the most effective way for adolescents to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. For more information about teenage pregnancy, please click here.


Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. In Mississippi, 4,700 adults die each year from smoking, and 192,000 children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is working to address the impact of tobacco use through the programs of the Office of Tobacco Control. Established by section 41-113-3 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, the MSDH Office of Tobacco Control is charged with developing and implementing a statewide and comprehensive tobacco education, prevention and cessation program.

Click here for more information about tobacco.

Prenatal Care

MSDH provides maternity services statewide to women through county health departments, targeting pregnant women with incomes at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Proper care during your pregnancy allows early diagnosis of disease and identification of some congenital anomalies (birth defects). To learn more about how to get proper prenatal care, please visit the Mississippi State Department of Health.

High Blood Pressure

More than 700,000 Mississippi adults have high blood pressure (hypertension), and thousands more may be at risk.

High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States. It can also lead to kidney disease, blindness and mental impairment. High blood pressure can be controlled or prevented entirely by taking the right steps.

Hypertension affects all ages and races. Prevention begins with knowledge: find out your blood pressure, and learn the ways to keep it under control. Visit here to learn how.


Diabetes is serious, controllable and preventable. In 2010, Mississippi ranked the 2nd highest in the U.S. for overall diabetes prevalence, with over 270,000 adult Mississippians having type 2 diabetes (over 12% of the adult population).

Diabetes contributed to the deaths of 926 Mississippians in 2010, and many more live with the complications of Type 2 diabetes, including lower extremity amputations, end stage renal disease, blindness, loss of protective sensation, heart disease and premature death.

Diabetes is preventable. Click here to learn more about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the small steps you can take to delay or prevent the disease and live a longer, healthier life.

Active Living

Exercise, diet and healthy weight are the three key ingredients for a longer and healthier life. Click here to learn more ways that you can get active in your daily life.


Nutrition is the heart of a healthy life.

The foods we eat are the foundation of our health. Good food choices can ward off chronic diseases and obesity, and improve the life of both adults and children.

Start your journey to better nutrition today. Click here to learn more.


Cancer is Mississippi’s #2 killer.

In 2005, Mississippi ranked fourth in cancer mortality in the U.S. Each year almost 15,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed; over 6,000 die from it.

Click here to learn more about how you can prevent cancer.


Immunization against childhood diseases are required by Mississippi Law in order to enter school, Head Start, or day care. Specific vaccinations are also recommended for students entering high school or college.

The Mississippi State Department of Health provides all necessary immunizations at low cost. Immunizations are free if you qualify for the Vaccines For Children program. Click here to learn more.