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American Heart Month Offers Chance to Learn about Heart Disease Risk

Both Men and Women Urged to Take Action against Top Killer on National Wear Red Day

As part of its effort to improve cardiac health and reduce disparities for people at risk for heart attack or stroke, HealthInsight reminds everyone that February is American Heart Month. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association created American Heart Month to draw attention to the importance of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The month also serves to honor health professionals, researchers and heart health ambassadors whose dedication to fighting heart disease enables countless Americans to live full and active lives.

Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are the leading cause of death in the United States, for both men and women. About 610,000 people die of heart disease each year: one in every four deaths in this country.

The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease – the most common type that can cause a heart attack or stroke, heart diseases involving the valves, or the heart not being able to pump well, which may cause heart failure.

HealthInsight is working with health care professionals and community stakeholders in Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah to lower cardiac risk and improve cardiac health.

National Wear Red Day® is Friday, February 3
One effort of American Heart Month is National Wear Red Day, recognized the first Friday of February. This day highlights the importance of women recognizing and responding to their risk for heart disease. More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Unfortunately, heart disease is often silent, hidden and misunderstood. Currently some 8 million women in the United States are living with heart disease, yet only one in six women recognize heart disease as her greatest health threat.

On February 3 and throughout the month, HealthInsight encourages health care practitioners, stakeholders, partners and the public to wear something red – a dress, shirt, tie or accessory – to increase awareness and support the cause. Additionally, clinicians are reminded to have conversations with their patients about heart health.

“You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease,” said Jerry Reeves, MD, HealthInsight senior vice president for medical affairs. “You can lower your risk by focusing on practical things like watching your weight, quitting smoking and staying away from secondhand smoke, controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure, not drinking alcohol or only in moderation, getting active and eating healthy.”

For more information on HealthInsight’s efforts around cardiovascular health and Million Hearts, visit healthinsight.org/cardiovascular-health.

National Wear Red Day® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and American Heart Association.