HomeNewsHeart health a priority during Heart Month and every day

Heart health a priority during Heart Month and every day

-by Lindsey De Jong, Cardiac Rehab Nurse

The heart is one of the most essential organs, responsible for supplying blood to the entire body. It works tirelessly, pumping beat by beat, second by second, around the clock, until we expire. Every part of our body requires blood and is dependent on the heart functioning properly. It is absolutely essential to our health and well-being. That’s why we devote the whole month of February to focus on its importance.

Since 1964, our nation has recognized the month of February as American Heart Month. This tradition was started and declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Research at that time revealed an increase in heart disease and the affects it was having on the general public. Shortly after President Johnson experienced a heart attack, he urged urged “the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution.” Increased efforts and research began and were dedicated to addressing cardiovascular disease. We continue to celebrate this tradition and support the efforts to spread awareness of heart disease and the importance of heart health.

For over 100 years, the American Heart Association has been devoted to our hearts- fighting against heart disease and for healthier hearts through scientific research. The AHA’s support and efforts thus far have made a major impact on heart health. Their efforts have helped more and more individuals survive heart disease and stroke every day.

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect the heart including irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias, congenital heart defects, disease of the heart muscle, heart valve disease, and coronary artery disease, which is also the most common form of heart disease. About 697,000 people in the United States died from heart disease last year—that’s 1 in every 5 deaths. Recent statistics show that one person experiences a heart attack every 34 seconds, and last year, over 805,000 people in the United States experience a heart attack. Those are alarming statistics that will only continue to increase each year unless we make drastic changes in our heart health.

So join us in taking a stand against heart disease and making our hearts and heart health a priority.