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American Heart month

American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and woman in the United States; and every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by it.[4] With that being said, it is vital that more people understand the gravity of the situation and that the illness can be prevented when people live with their health in mind. Fortunately, the American Heart Association (AHA) is putting together some campaigns designed to raise awareness about the disease.  These efforts consist of charts, catchy slogans, infographics, videos, articles, and other creatives designed to make a base for advocates to spread and create even more resources (like this article), all in the hopes of inspiring at least one more person live a healthier life.

Facts About Heart Disease

Not only is heart disease the number one cause of death, the number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes continues to grow.[3] “With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase.” Said epidemiologist Dr. Paul Mauntner.[3] Heart disease is related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that essentially causes the arteries to be built up with plaque and narrowed, making it much more difficult for blood to flow through.[2] This then can cause a series of cardiovascular issues: heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems to name a few.[2]

Spreading Awareness

As I stated before, the AHA has some campaigns in place for raising awareness and giving others a means to spread the word if they want to help. Sometimes it can be easier to remember and talk about a slogan or phrase, so the AHA has a hashtag to encourage others to #wearredandgive. Red is the color for heart disease, and this leads in to their trademarked “Go Red For Women” campaign as well.[1] It can be as simple as wearing a red shirt, and sharing their video, but these actions will get people asking questions.

On top of these campaigns, the AHA is shining the spotlight on advocates who spread the word about heart disease. One person that was highlighted began an 8-week wellness after school program for interested students that was designed to teach nutrition and what it means to live a healthy life. But that is a large step that a person can make towards feeding knowledge to others. Other actions suggested by healthfinder.gov:

  • Encourage families to make smaller changes, such as: using spices instead of salt for seasoning in meals.
  • Motivate administrators to incorporate more physical activity in school, ensuring that good lifestyle habits get started early.
  • Asking doctors and nurses to speak out about heart disease prevention.

With the increasing risks for heart disease among us, it is important that this disease, its history and methods of preventing it are spread far and wide to as many ears that will listen. Whether you are having a conversation or changing the way that you live, something must be done. Help the AHA and spread knowledge to others about what can be done to fight heart disease today!

 

References

1) American Heart Association. (2018). “National Wear Red Day”. Retrieved from: https://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/ .

2) American Heart Association. (June 7, 2017). “What is Cardiovascular Disease”. Retrieved from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/What-is-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_301852_Article.jsp#.WnKjuqhKuUk

3) American Heart Association News. (2018). “More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says”. Retrieved from: https://news.heart.org/more-than-100-million-americans-have-high-blood-pressure-aha-says/ .

4) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2018). “American Heart Month”. Retrieved from: https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/FebruaryToolkit.aspx .

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