February is American Heart Month

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on February 03, 2021 with No Comments

It’s no secret that February is all about hearts — but not just the candy kind

It’s also American Heart Month, a time the nation turns its attention to keeping families and communities free from heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans.

The federally designated event reinforces the importance of heart health and the need for more research, with a reminder to get families, friends and communities involved. It’s a tradition that’s over half a century strong. The first proclamation was issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1964, nine years after he had a heart attack. Since then, the president has annually declared February American Heart Month.

With organizations such as the American Heart Association and others working together, millions of people are enjoying longer, healthier lives. But despite all the progress, heart disease remains the single largest health threat to Americans.

Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke combined) kills about 2,300 a day. Obesity in both youth and adults is at an all-time high, youth are being diagnosed with heart disease earlier than ever and people just ZIP codes apart can live 25 years less than their neighbors because of disparities in health. American Heart Month is vital for awareness, but the American Heart Association urges people to take care of their hearts year-round. Consider the facts:

  • Heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart attacks affect more people every year than the population of Dallas, Texas.
  • 83% believe that heart attacks can be prevented but aren’t motivated to do anything.
  • 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease.
  • And 58% put no effort into improving their heart health.

While science is advancing medicine in exciting new ways, unhealthy lifestyle choices combined with rising obesity rates in both kids and adults have hindered progress fighting heart disease.

The good news is that heart disease is preventable in most cases with healthy choices, which include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week and getting regular checkups.

The first Friday of the month, February 7, is National Wear Red Day. Coast to coast, landmarks, news anchors and neighborhoods will go red to raise awareness and support for heart disease. For more information, visit goredforwomen.org.

 

February Heart Month, helping men and women

 

February is American Heart Month, drawing attention to cardiovascular disease and the efforts to stop America’s number one killer which, for nearly 30 years, has affected women in far greater numbers than men.

Since 1963, February has been celebrated as American Heart Month to urge Americans to join the battle against heart disease. February also has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, and the message that heart disease is not only a man’s problem. Consider these statistics:

• Heart disease is still our No. 1 killer.  It affects more women than men and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

• Heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.

• An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.

• Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

• For over 10 years, women have been fighting heart disease individually and together as part of the Go Red For Women movement.  More than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved, and 330 fewer women are dying per day.

Women who Go Red are more likely to make healthy choices:

• Nearly 90 percent have made at least one healthy behavior change.

• More than one-third have lost weight.

• More than 50 percent have increased their exercise.

• Six out of 10 have changed their diets.

• More than 40 percent have checked their cholesterol levels.

• One-third have talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.

For more information, visit GoRedForWomen.org.

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