Vol. 64, No. 04
February 6, 2015
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Announcements: American Heart Month — February 2015
WeeklyFebruary 6, 2015 / 64(04);112
February is American Heart Month. The leading cause of death in the United States continues to be cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), and stroke. Although the rate of death attributable to CVD is decreasing (1,2), too few U.S. adults exhibit measures of good cardiovascular health, including adequate physical activity, a healthy diet, and ideal blood pressure. Additionally, more than one in three U.S. adults have at least one type of CVD, and nearly one in three deaths are attributed to CVD (1).
CVD and its risk factors are not distributed evenly across the U.S. population. Certain groups, defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, or geography, have higher levels than others (1). Disproportionately high rates of avoidable CVD deaths are found among black men and among adults aged 30–74 years living in the Southeast (3), highlighting the need for targeted efforts to alleviate disparities and improve health (4). Black men experience a death rate attributable to CVD that is about 2.7 times higher than that of the lowest rate, found among white women (4). The reduction of CVD disparities and CVD overall are goals CDC aims to achieve through increased use of clinical protocols (5), partnerships with national, state, and local organizations, and educating persons at risk for CVD.
In observance of American Heart Month 2015, CDC is focusing on increased targeted consumer and health care provider messaging, as well as providing resources specifically for black men. Additional information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/american_heart_month.htm and http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.