AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Of 133 cities and communities studied, the 33 with the highest rates of premature deaths included Lancaster, Lake Los Angeles, Long Beach, Norwalk, Pomona and South El Monte. The cities with the 10 lowest rates of premature deaths included Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Hermosa Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Westlake Village and La Caada Flintridge, which had the fourth-lowest rate of premature deaths. “Well, I think it’s great,” La Caada Flintridge Mayor Anthony Portantino said. “Obviously, heart disease and cardiovascular issues are a significant problem in America. My father died of a heart attack at age 48. It’s something I think about as I turn 45. I’m glad to see in this community that people are walking, exercising and eating right.” In recognition of February as American Health Month, Portantino said the city declared it Wear Red Month to help bring awareness to cardiovascular diseases. The report found that chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes have become the leading causes of death in the county, accounting for 80 percent of deaths and $48 billion in health care costs in 2002. Heart disease and stroke were the leading causes of premature death and disability, accounting for 40 percent of deaths. “Cities and counties can play a vital role in improving the health of their populations,” Fielding said. “Policies and programs that increase physical activity, improve nutrition, discourage smoking, and increase access to health care can have the potential to greatly reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke, as well as diabetes and other chronic diseases.” The report gave recommendations for cities and residents to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. For example, cities can promote physical activity by creating more walkable communities and establishing joint-use agreements with school districts to more fully utilize school land and facilities for community recreational programs. Communities can also organize walking clubs. Cities can reduce the rates of smoking among youths by establishing retail tobacco licensing and using the fees to support enforcement of laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors. Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A higher percentage of people die prematurely from heart disease and stroke in the South Los Angeles area and in some communities in the northern and eastern parts of Los Angeles County than in more affluent areas, according to a report released Monday. The report by the county Department of Health Services found that the high rates of premature deaths are tied to the levels of economic hardship in those areas. “We found that communities that have problems of overcrowding, poor housing stock, poverty, high levels of unemployment, poor educational attainment, high levels of dependency on government programs and low incomes are the communities where we have the highest rates of premature death from heart disease and stroke,” county Health Officer Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding said. The first-ever report documenting the burden of heart disease and stroke found that the differences in individual communities likely reflect such behaviors as smoking and physical inactivity, as well as socioeconomic disparities in access to health care and differences in work and living environments.