Information from The CDC:
February is American Heart Month, and unfortunately, most of us know someone who has had heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. These conditions are also leading causes of disability preventing people from working and enjoying family activities. Cardiovascular disease is also very expensive—together heart disease and stroke hospitalizations in 2010 cost the nation more than $444 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity. However, we can fight back against heart disease and stroke. CDC and other parts of the US government have launched Million Hearts™, to prevent the nation’s leading killers and empowering everyone to make heart-healthy choices.
What is Million Hearts?
Launched in September 2011 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Million Hearts™ is a national initiative that aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years. This public-private partnership, co-led by CDC and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is integrating and amplifying a range of existing heart disease and stroke prevention programs, policies, and activities.
Goals of Million Hearts
The Million Hearts™ Initiative seeks to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by the end of 2016 by:
- Empowering Americans to make healthychoices such as avoiding tobacco use and reducing the amount of sodium and trans fat they eat. These changes will reduce the number of people who need medical treatment for high blood pressure or cholesterol—and ultimately prevent heart attacks and strokes.
- Improving care for people who do need treatment by encouraging a focus on the “ABCS”—Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation—four steps to address the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
What Million Hearts Means to You
Heart disease and stroke affects all of our lives, but we can all play a role in ending it. Prevention starts with everyone. Protect yourself and your loved ones from heart disease and stroke by understanding the risks and taking these steps.
- Drive the initiative by challenging your family and friends to take the Million Hearts™ pledge at http://www.millionhearts.hhs.gov.
- Get up and get active by being physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Know your ABCS:
- Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day.
- Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.
- If you Smoke, get help to quit.
- Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.
- Take control of your heart health by following your doctor’s prescription instructions.
Together, we can all be one in a million this Heart Month and every month. Learn more about Million Hearts.