"Strokes Can Happen at Any Age"
A 17 Year Old
February Is American Heart Month: Are You at Risk for Heart
[Info from Centers for Disease Control
During the month of February, Americans see the human heart as
the symbol of love. February is American Heart Month, a time to
show yourself the love. Learn about your risks for heart disease
and stroke and stay "heart healthy" for yourself and your loved
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke,
and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men
in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability,
preventing Americans from working and enjoying family
costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including
the cost of health care services, medications, and lost
Understanding the Burden of CVD
CVD does not affect all groups of people in the same way.
Although the number of preventable deaths has declined in people
aged 65 to 74 years, it has remained unchanged in people under
age 65. Men are more than twice as likely as women to die from
Having a close relative who has heart disease puts you at higher
risk for CVD. Health disparities based on geography also exist.
During 2007–2009, death rates due to heart disease were the
highest in the South and lowest in the West.
Race and ethnicity also affect your risk. Nearly 44% of African
American men and 48% of African American women have some form of
CVD. And African Americans are more likely than any other racial
or ethnic group to have high blood pressure and to develop the
condition earlier in life. About 2 in 5 African American adults
have high blood pressure, yet fewer than half of them have the
condition under control.
Many CVD deaths could have been prevented through healthier
habits, healthier living spaces, and better management of
conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.2
Take It One Step at a Time
You can control a number of risk factors for CVD, including:
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
As you begin your journey to better heart health that can last a
lifetime, keep these things in mind:
Try not to become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer
to a healthier heart, and every healthy choice makes a
Partner up. The journey is more fun—and often more
successful—when you have company. Ask friends and family to
Don't get discouraged. You may not be able to take all of
the steps at one time. Get a good night's sleep—also
important for a healthy heart—and do what you can tomorrow.
Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your
stress. Round up some colleagues for a lunchtime walk, join
a singing group, or have a healthy dinner with your family