February is Heart Month
This month is officially recognized as American Heart Month, dedicated to increasing awareness of heart-related issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
More than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, according to The Center for Disease Control (CDC). And heart disease (which includes heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases) is the number 1 cause of death in the United States. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. (For more statistics on heart disease, visit The Heart Foundation and the CDC)
The CDC and Million Hearts team up during the month of February not only to educate people about potential heart problems, but also to educate people on ways they can take control of their own health and prevention, such as through quitting smoking, reducing sodium intake, exercising regularly, and monitoring your blood pressure. Many other groups, organizations, and companies have also joined in the movement to try and kick heart disease to the curb.
Why is Tomorrow National Wear Red Day?
As part of American Heart Month, National Wear Red Day is observed on the first Friday of February each year. The color red was chosen to represent specifically the struggle women face against heart disease; more women than men have died of heart disease each year since 1984. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the day, and the momentum continues to grow stronger each year. The movement began in 2003 when the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recognized the significant need for more awareness and prevention of heart disease.
According to GoRedForWomen.com, in 2003 nearly 500,000 lives of American women were claimed by the disease each year. Because of this, many other movements and projects have developed in order to build awareness and health initiatives to prevent the disease, such as One Brave Idea and The Heart Truth.
In the 13 years that National Wear Red Day has been official, there have been incredible strides made in the fight:
- Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.
- More than one-third of women have lost weight.
- More than 50% of women have increased their exercise.
- 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.
- More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels.
- One-third of women have talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
- Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day.
- Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.
Want to know how you can participate in Wear Red Day (and not just women, men too)? Check out these free Wear Red Day tools and resources.
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