February is American Heart Month, a great time to take action against cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death in the United States. One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to roughly 2,200 deaths per day. The good news is that the public health community at the federal, state and local levels can help prevent deaths from heart disease and stroke by working together to make more heart-healthy choices.
Million Hearts™ is a bold national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
Take the Million Hearts™ Challenge Today
Through Million Hearts™, public and private partners are working together to make it easier for Americans to protect their hearts. Some examples include:
• The Mississippi Department of Health is providing free, automated blood pressure monitors to people at high risk and teaching “the how and why” of control.
• The American Medical Association is tracking Million Hearts™ progress through its systems for measuring patient health.
• The Y is expanding its Diabetes Prevention Program in recognition that preventing diabetes prevents CVD.
• CDC awarded more than $100 million to 61 states and communities serving 120 million Americans for local efforts to prevent CVD.
• Physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, and the professional societies they lead, are focusing on getting the ABCS right with each patient who needs Aspirin due to high risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by understanding the risks and taking action. Take the Million Hearts™ pledge at http://www.millionhearts.hhs.gov/ and commit to making change that will prevent heart attack and stroke: Know your ABCS; make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat; and, be active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
Together, we can all be one in a million this Heart Month and every month.
Janet Wright, M.D.
Executive Director, Million Hearts