February often brings to mind thoughts of Valentine’s Day and images of hearts. But the heart is much more than a symbol – it is also the vital organ that pumps blood throughout our body. We tend to take our heart for granted until our own heart or that of a loved one stops working properly. Regrettably, more than 80 million American adults suffer from heart disease, stroke, or some other form of cardiovascular disease. In recognition of the need to continue the fight against heart disease, our nation’s No. 1 killer, each year the President designates February as American Heart Month. During Heart Month, we encourage you to take a few easy steps to join in our mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
How can you assist our mission?
1. Know the signs of a Heart Attack
Many people have the misconception that a heart attack comes on suddenly and intensely, as Hollywood depicts it on screen. However, many heart attacks come on gradually with mild pain or discomfort. Because of the preconceived notions, people who are actually experiencing symptoms of a heart attack may not know what is wrong with them.
2. Learn CPR
In one afternoon you could learn CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) — two skills that can help save the lives of victims of sudden cardiac arrest. That’s why the American Heart Association urges Americans to learn CPR and support community AED programs. The more prepared we are to treat sudden cardiac arrest, the more lives we can save. Take action for the people you love. Visitwww. heart.org/CPRAndECC to find a CPR class in your neighborhood
3.Take Control of Your Heart Health
Check out our new website, Heart Hub for Patients, at http://www.hearthub. org . This new resource provides patients, families, and caregivers with tools and resources to manage your cardiovascular health. Use these online tools to understand your risks and treatment options. Visit our Health Centers to find a library of topic-focused articles, resources, and to view presentations and videos.
4. Get Involved
Join us in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke! Call to see how you can participate and help us achieve our mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, we’re the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases — America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers — we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org