What is American Heart Month?
American Heart Month, a federally designated event, is an ideal time to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved.
• The first American Heart Month, which took place in February 1964, was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson via Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963.
• The Congress, by joint resolution on that date, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.
• At that time, more than half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease.
• While American Heart Month is a federally designated month in the United States, it’s important to realize that cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year.
That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
Nearly half of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease, a percentage that reflects recently updated guidelines for treating high blood pressure, according to a new report. High blood pressure – also known as hypertension – can lead to heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
“We’re becoming more and more aware of the importance of high blood pressure. Levels we used to think were normal we now associate with worse outcomes, and treating them makes a big difference,” said Dr. Emelia J. Benjamin, a professor of cardiology at Boston University and chair of the group that wrote the American Heart Association’s “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2019 Update”.
The report, published Thursday in the AHA journal Circulation, has been released annually since 1958 and is based on data from the National Institutes of Health and other government sources. This year’s report said 121.5 million adults in the U.S. – 48 percent based on 2016 figures – has cardiovascular disease. Heart disease was the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. and stroke was No. 5, the same ranking as in the previous year.
For more information, visit: www.heart.org/en/news/2019/01/31/cardiovascular-diseases-affect-nearly-half-of-american-adults-statistics-show