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Honoring American Heart Month

Female doctor Heart Month

Introduction to American Heart Month

Tragically, heart disease claims the lives of over half a million people in America each year.1 This is the primary cause of death in our country, impacting people of all ages and backgrounds. Every February we celebrate American Heart Month to help individuals, families, and communities to learn about heart disease and take steps to prevent it.


The History of Heart Disease

Heart disease is not a new phenomenon. In fact, researchers have discovered Egyptian mummies that show evidence of heart disease around 1500 B.C.2 Perhaps the sedentary lifestyles and rich food of the Egyptian elite contributed to these stories of disease. Whatever the case, present day researchers have since discovered the enormous impact of diet and lifestyle choices on heart health.


The Physical Role of the Heart

The role of the heart is to oxygenate the body. It does so by pumping blood throughout the entire system. The heart keeps us breathing while communicating with the rest of our bodies through a network of remarkable electrical cells. This process fuels us with nutrients and removes built-up waste.3  As you can see, the heart constantly works to keep us alive and well. But neglect of this organ proves disastrous. Perhaps it’s time we give our heart some more TLC and learn to protect this gift within our bodies.


How to Participate in American Heart Month

American Heart Month provides many activities to enjoy while bolstering your heart health in the process. If you want to get involved in American Heart Month, consider these ideas to get started:


  • Education: Educate yourself and others about heart disease and the risk factors contributing to poor heart health.


  • Lifestyle: Make lifestyle changes to strengthen your heart such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, and getting regular physical activity. A heart checkup or health screening is also beneficial to see the current condition of your heart.


  • Community Involvement: Participate in community events and fundraisers, such as walks and runs, that support heart disease research and education.


  • Donations: Support the American Heart Association by making a donation to their cause.


  • Awareness: Share information about heart disease and American Heart Month on social media or wear red on National Wear Red Day (February 5th). This day honors the lives of those who have passed due to heart disease, and rallies others to do what they can to prevent it.


Heart disease is a vast public health problem that affects not only individuals but also their families, communities, and the economy. By highlighting the importance of heart health and encouraging preventive measures, American Heart Month can help reduce the number of heart disease-related deaths and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.

In addition, American Heart Month is an opportunity to raise funds for heart disease research and education. The research from this funding has led to many key breakthroughs in the understanding, prevention, and treatment of heart disease.


Taking Responsibility for your Heart

Finally, American Heart Month is an opportunity for people to come together to support one another in caring for their bodies and hearts. Heart health is both a personal and collective responsibility. American Heart Month encourages each person to accept this responsibility, which ultimately leads to a healthier society and world.


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