February is American Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Each year, about 610,000 people die of heart disease, which means that 1 in every 4 deaths is heart disease related. Nationwide, almost half of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, smoking, a poor diet, physical inactivity, or obesity.
Heart Disease Facts
- Heart disease costs the United States about $207 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.
- In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 42 seconds. Each minute, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites.
Lower Your Risks
- Get moving. Physical activity can have a big effect on heart health. Even taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can lower your risk for heart disease.
- Eat good food. Pick healthy snacks for on the road and at home. Consider getting a slow cooker for your truck. And when you eat out, know what the best choices on the menu are.
- Get a checkup. Know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels so you can monitor them and, if necessary, get proper medication.
- Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by itself. When it acts with other factors, it greatly increases risk.
The Health & Wellness Resource Center section of the Driving Healthy website has information and tools to help you accomplish these goals.
Visit the Million Hearts® website for information about heart disease and to access tools to prevent and treat it.
Listen to an iTruck Radio American Heart Association interview about heart health.