February is American Heart Month

MIllion HeartsHeart 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.

Other Resources

Visit the Million Hearts® website for information about heart disease and to access tools to prevent and treat it.

The American Heart Association has information about heart conditions and resources for healthy living.

Learn more about the connection between high blood pressure and memory loss, including the triggers for hypertension, as well as the signs of memory problems.

Listen to an iTruck Radio American Heart Association interview about heart health.

The CDC has a wide range of heart disease resources, including this quick six question quiz.

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