July 01, 2022


February 2019

Heart 2

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.

February is American Heart Awareness Month!

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack.  One in four deaths in the United States is due to heart disease.  High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease, and approximately 49% of Americans have at least one of these.  Other medical conditions and common lifestyle choices further increase this risk, including diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, too much alcohol, and tobacco use.  Sometimes it can be hard to talk to a patient, family member, or friend about making healthy lifestyle changes to reduce their risk for heart disease.  Use these tips to start a conversation about heart-healthy changes. 

Begin by saying that you care

  • “I want you to live a long and healthy life.”
  • “I hope you’ll be around for a long time.”
  • “I want to help you make healthy changes so you can keep enjoying the things you love to do.”

Share the facts

  •  “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.”
  • “Heart disease causes more deaths in the United States than all types of cancer combined.”
  • “You are at higher risk for heart disease because…”

Explain behavior changes that can help prevent heart disease

  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Control cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Limit drinking alcohol to no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men
  • Eat healthy by getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.  Limit saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium
  • Get active and aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week
  • Work toward and maintain a healthy weight

Offer to help

  •  “What changes are the hardest for you to make? What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can we get healthy together?”
  • “You don't have to do this alone. What can I do to help you?”


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention