It’s almost time again for American Heart Month. In order to mark the occasion, we’ve compiled information about the event and recommendations on how to get involved. Here’s to your health this February and every other month!
What is American Heart Month?
American Heart Month began in 1964. That year, President Lyndon Johnson designated February as a month of awareness focused on heart health. A survivor of heart attack himself nine years earlier, President Johnson was one of at least 11 US presidents who suffered cardiovascular disease — a fact that emphasizes just how important heart health is for every single American.
This is why the American Heart Association and partner organizations work to educate the public about cardiovascular disease (CVD) and provide the latest research-backed resources for improving heart health. February’s Heart Month serves as a culmination of these initiatives and a yearly reminder for each of us to check in on our health.
Why is Heart Month important?
Cardiovascular disease (including stroke) is the number one killer of Americans, just as it has been since 1921. Every day, approximately 2,300 people in the US die from heart disease and stroke. While we’ve seen major strides in medical research and health advocacy over the years, lifestyle factors like obesity and stress continue to make CVD a widespread problem for our country.
Consider a few of these statistics from the American Heart Association:
- About every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a heart attack — and someone else has a stroke.
- While heart disease is preventable in most cases, 83% of Americans aren’t motivated to make the changes that may save them from having a heart attack.
- CVD affects nearly half of all US adults, but 72% of Americans do not consider themselves at risk for a heart attack.
- 58% of Americans are doing nothing to improve their heart health.
What can you do as an individual to mark Heart Month?
Don’t want to be a part of those surprising statistics? The AHA provides countless articles, tips, recipes, and other tools for managing your health. Here are a few of our favorites:
- How to help reduce your risk of another heart attack — Actionable guidance for those who have already had a heart attack.
- AHA names top heart disease and stroke research advances of 2020 — Read about some of the good health and science news that came out of last year.
- Research Goes Red — Women can join this important initiative to help fight female heart disease by contributing to health research.
- Habichuelas Rosadas a la Caribeña (Caribbean pink beans) — A colorful, flavorful, and heart-healthy recipe that’s perfect for the winter months.
- Healthy Bond for Life — You love your pets and so does the AHA. Check out these articles about the positive effects our furry friends have on our health.
What can you do as an employer?
If you’re looking to improve overall health culture, the AHA has a hub of resources dedicated to workplace and workforce health. Check out the Workplace Health Achievement Index for more information.
A great way to mark Heart Month is to participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5th. Encourage employees to wear red on this day and to learn more about the AHA’s Go Red for Women program.
Of course, preventing heart attack and stroke is the best way to reduce cardiovascular disease deaths. But knowing how to respond in the event of these emergencies is also critical. To schedule a CPR/AED training for your staff or other group, contact us today. We’d love to help your team commemorate American Heart Month this year!