During American Heart Month each February, the nation comes together to ignite a wave of red from coast to coast. From landmarks to news anchors to neighborhoods to online communities, this annual groundswell unites millions of people in a common goal: to end heart disease and stroke.
Go Red for Women® is an American Heart Association movement to increase heart health awareness and improve the lives of women globally. For 16 years, it has harnessed the energy, passion and power of women to band together and wipe out cardiovascular disease — their leading cause of death that claims the lives of one in three. It challenges every woman to know her personal risk for heart disease and stroke and take action to reduce it.
What is American Heart Month?
American Heart Month is a federally designated event that encourages Americans to focus on their heart health and get their families, friends and communities involved.
President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the first American Heart Month in February 1964 via Proclamation 3566 on Dec. 30, 1963. The Congress, by joint resolution, requested the president to issue an annual proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.
And this disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading cause of death globally, taking more than 17.6 million lives. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030 – and women are at an increased risk.1
Cardiovascular disease claims more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined.
This February, volunteers, survivors and supporters amplify Go Red for Women’s lifesaving message to raise awareness and encourage action. This includes knowing your numbers and family history, recognizing the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, participating in research, learning CPR and making healthy behavior and lifestyle changes.
Read on to learn more about the factors that increase your risk for heart disease.