American Heart Month | Why Losing One Woman Is Too Many

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month when the American Heart Association (AHA) works to shine a spotlight on heart disease, the leading cause of death of Americans and worldwide. This year is the 57th commemoration of American Heart Month, established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. 

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and strokes, kills about 655,000 people each year in the United States and contributes to the death of more people than all forms of cancer combined. Moreover, about 805,000 people suffer a heart attack each year. 

This year, the AHA will focus on its campaign, “Heart to Heart: Why Losing One Woman Is Too Many,” to raise awareness about how 1 in 3 women are diagnosed with heart disease annually. Feb. 5, is also National Wear Red Day as part of the AHA’s Go Red for Women initiative. People, offices, and homes will go red to raise awareness and support for the fight against heart disease. 

American Heart Month feels even more urgent this year, as research shows that the coronavirus has impacted the public’s heart health, including potential harmful effects on the heart and vascular system. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been more common for people to delay or avoid going to hospitals for heart attacks and strokes resulting in poorer outcomes. 

It is important to remember that heart disease is preventable in most cases with healthy choices that include: 

  • Not smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Get active
  • Establish healthy eating patterns
  • Schedule regular check-ups

Find more great resources on the OAAPN blog.