American Heart Month is a good time to examine your heart health

Heart Month

Valentine’s Day is here. With so many hearts decorating stores, classrooms, and candy, you can’t help but think about them. Take some time to consider your heart and ways to improve your health this month and in months to come.

American Heart Month is a federally designated event that dates back to 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson first issued the proclamation. In each year since, presidents have issued proclamations designating February as American Heart Month. President Johnson himself had a history of heart disease, which began in 1955, and he died of a heart attack in 1973. Today, there are more than 17.3 million deaths each year from heart disease and stroke around the world. Living a healthier life can help prevent you from adding to this statistic.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. About one in every three deaths are caused by heart disease. In 2017, about 801,000 Americans died from cardiovascular disease. Yet when families, health professionals, and communities work together to get people to make healthy choices and manage their conditions, heart disease can often be prevented.

There are many types of heart disease. Arrhythmia, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and other ailments and events can impact your heart health. You can learn about many types of heart disease on the American Heart Association’s website.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers some tips to help lower your risk of heart disease.

  • Eat healthy
  • Get active
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation
  • Manage stress

If you’d like some tips on ways to get healthier, look back a few weeks to our Health and wellness resolutions post and see what changes you can make to your routine. You can also find a variety of information on heart disease in our Health Center. Search on “heart disease” for a list of resources.

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