February is Heart Awareness Month
The federal government first designated February as American Heart Month in 1964. President Lyndon Johnson along with Congress sought to bring attention to cardiovascular disease as a leading cause of death in the United States. American Heart Month brings awareness to different aspects of heart disease throughout the month of February.1
American Heart Month
Hospitals, medical professionals, and health systems work together to celebrate American Heart Month. They host activities, medical and preventive screenings, and educational programs to raise community awareness about heart disease. The promotional, social, and educational efforts are designed to communicate information to help people make healthy lifestyle choices and needed dietary and activity changes to create a life plan for heart health.2-3 Programming covers topics that include the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and blood pressure management.1
National Wear Red Day
February 7st is National Wear Red Day.1,4 The first Friday of every February people across the country, in association with the American Heart Association Go Red for Women® campaign, wear red for a common goal: to raise awareness about heart disease and educate Americans so they understand that heart disease is the leading cause of death and is largely preventable. The movement started as a way to inform women about their risks and as a force for change to end heart disease and stroke in women all over the world.1
Heart Failure Awareness Week
February 9-15, 2020 is Heart Failure Awareness Week.5 In 2001, the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) along with the US Senate declared the week of Valentine’s Day as National Heart Failure Awareness Week.4 They support national programming to promote heart failure awareness, patient education, and heart failure prevention.4Over 5 million people in the United States have heart failure.6 Many medical and nursing organizations get involved to teach patients and caregivers about lifestyle and behavior changes that affect heart failure patients and their families.
The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses created a Care for Your Heart program called C-A-R-E.7
Not just for heart disease
Heart Failure Awareness Week is also a key week for enrollment in clinical trials for heart failure.6 February 14th is Valentine’s day, considered a time for all things heart-related. It is not just for love and heart health, it's also National Donor Day, a day to increase awareness about organ donation and how being an organ donor can help save lives. It covers the donation of organs, tissues, bone marrow, platelets, and blood.
Heart Awareness Month isn’t just for people with heart disease. Educational programming is accessible to schoolteachers, community organizations and anyone else interested in promoting good heart health and lifestyle changes that can benefit everyone. It is a time to promote policy change, disease awareness and prevention.6 Information about all aspects of heart health and heart disease can help people get involved, take action, and make relevant lifestyle changes.
Have you ever avoided going to the doctor out of fear?