Every year since 1963 the American Heart Association designates February as American Heart Month, because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.
For those in EMS, it's a time to consider how you might improve your own heart health as well as reach out to those in your communities. The AHA suggests this as a time for learning about cardiovascular health, risk factors, and warning signs of heart attack and stroke. It's a time to take an honest look at your lifestyle and to determine whether you need to make any changes.
During American Heart Month, thousands of volunteers visit their communities to raise funds for research and education and to pass along information about heart disease and stroke.
Also as part of American Heart Month, February 6 is National Wear Red Day, a day when people across the U.S. wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness. Studies show that women tend to receive delayed EMS heart care compared to men because their symptoms are less recognized, although women account for 52.6% of the total heart disease deaths. For more information go to www.goredforwomen.org.
According to the CDC, in 2009, an estimated 785,000 Americans will have a new coronary attack and about 470,000 will have a recurrent attack. About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.
For more information please browse our collection of heart health resources for EMS providers.