Every February the Nation Puts Heart Disease in the Spotlight
LANSING - Not only is Feb. known for Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, but it is also American Heart Month. With heart disease being the No. 1 leading cause of death in America, the United States commemorates the 57th consecutive American Heart Month in Feb. this year.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), President Lyndon B. Johnson was the first to proclaim Feb. as American Heart Month due to his personal experience with heart attacks, and from 1964 to today, it continues to be a month dedicated to the awareness and importance of heart health.
AHA holds events and campaigns throughout the month to help raise awareness of and educate Americans on heart disease and health. The campaign, “Heart to Heart: Why Losing One Woman Is Too Many,” raises awareness that 1 in 3 women are diagnosed with heart disease annually.
On the first Friday of American Heart Month, Feb. 5 this year, it was National Wear Red Day as part of the AHA’s Go Red for Women initiative. The initiative recognizes that cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in America and in women. The platform is designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serves as an incentive for change to improve the lives of women everywhere.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AHA said many people have delayed or avoided going to hospitals for heart attacks and strokes and because of this, it has created the campaign, “Don’t Die of Doubt,” and released a short video that reminds people that hospitals are the safest place to go if you are feeling any symptoms.
While in lockdown, the AHA said more people have fallen into unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, such as eating poorly, drinking more alcohol and not getting enough exercise, which can all contribute to heart disease. However, the AHA has provided tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle in hopes of preventing heart disease.
This includes not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and getting regular checkups.