February is American Heart Month, as originally proclaimed in February 1964 by President Johnson to promote awareness of heart disease after he had personally experienced a heart attack. This month marks the 57th year Heart Month has been recognized in the United States and the American Heart Association hopes to continue raising awareness and emphasizing the importance of addressing factors contributing to heart disease.
Fast Facts about Heart Disease
- Someone in the US has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, including people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
- Heart disease is the number one killer in women, with one in three women being diagnosed with heart disease each year.
- Youth and young adults are being diagnosed with heart disease or displaying associated factors earlier than ever and with greater frequency.
What You Can Do to Prevent Heart Disease and Resources to Learn More
In most cases, heart disease is preventable. Take care of your heart and the hearts of those you love by knowing your numbers, owning your lifestyle, and educating your family.
- Review your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels and other important cardiac risk factors with your primary care provider. Ask about what you can do to control blood sugar and cholesterol and seek treatment for high blood pressure.
- Keep moving and exercise at least 30 minutes per day, do not smoke, and strive for a heart healthy diet with lean meats, fruits, and veggies.
- There are many practical ways to help improve your health: share a heart healthy recipe, participate in a favorite exercise activity, spend time doing something you enjoy, and manage stress with mindful meditation.
- Support those you care about and change the trajectory of heart disease by helping others understand and reduce cardiac risk factors.
- Check out the American Heart Association’s website, to learn more about heart disease yourself, or to share facts with a friend or family member.
- Read more about cardiac disease on Valley’s website.
We are all in this together. Share heart healthy tips with someone you love and work toward a healthier lifestyle. There is no better time than now to strive for a healthy heart lifestyle.