American Heart Month

February is known as American Heart Month, and it’s a time designed to raise awareness about cardiovascular health. It’s an important subject to observe because heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S., and a person dies from this disease every 36 seconds.

That results in almost 700,000 people dying from heart disease in the country, which accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths. While genetics might play a role in these deaths, lifestyle is a contributing factor that Americans can control to improve their health and lower their risk of a major heart attack.

The History of American Heart Month

In December of 1963, then U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Presidential Proclamation 3566, a mere 10 days after the U.S. Congress issued a joint resolution requesting the president to issue that annual proclamation. The president proclaimed February of every year as American Heart Month and, in his address, urged all Americans to take their heart health seriously and to support programs that address heart disease in the U.S.

Important Facts About Heart Disease

To raise our readers’ awareness about the dangers of heart disease and the steps they can take to minimize their risk of suffering a major cardiac event, we’ve decided to list some facts below. We think these points highlight the importance of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other important lifestyle changes.

  • Approximately 360,000+ Americans die of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) every year.
  • Approximately 18.2 million adults over the age of 20 have Coronary Artery Disease.
  • Twenty percent of deaths from CAD occur in adults under the age of 65 years.
  • Diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use increase a person’s risk of heart disease.
  • Smoking also increases a person’s risk of heart disease, as does an unhealthy diet.
  • Approximately 23.7% of white and 23.5% of black Americans died of heart disease in 2015.
  • In 2015, 21.4% of Asian American or Pacific Islanders, and 20.3% of Hispanics died of heart disease.
  • In 2015, approximately 18.3% of American Indians or Alaska Natives died of heart disease.

Observing American Heart Month

Every year, the POTUS (President of the United States) issues a proclamation that designates February as American Heart Month. An invitation is also extended to the chief executive officers of all U.S. possessions, territories, and states to make a similar proclamation.

The American Heart Association runs a campaign during this month to raise public awareness about heart disease and the measures people can take to lower their risk of a significant cardiac event. One way this is done is through the hashtag #AmericanHeartMonth used on social media. Many private organizations also host events, as do clinics and hospitals all over the country.

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 1 Thursday
Next year (2025)
February 1 Saturday
Last year (2023)
February 1 Wednesday
Health & Body