10 Ways To Celebrate The Heart Truth® and American Heart Month
Ten years ago, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) launched The Heart Truth,® a national awareness campaign about women and heart disease. In 2002, research had revealed a serious misconception among American women—that heart disease was a man’s disease.
Awareness of heart disease as the #1 killer of women has nearly doubled since The Heart Truth® began 10 years ago. Recent research shows that more women are seeking information about their personal risk for heart disease and taking actions to reduce it (such as increasing physical activity).
In honor of the 10th anniversary of The Heart Truth,® here are 10 ways to celebrate heart health throughout American Heart Month in February.
- Wear red on National Wear Red Day,® Friday, February 3.
Join The Heart Truth® on National Wear Red Day® by putting on a favorite red dress, shirt, tie, or Red Dress pin, and spreading the critical message that “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear—It’s the #1 Killer of Women.®”
- Plan an event with help from The Heart Truth® Online Toolkit.
Explore our list of event ideas, such as hosting a heart-health screening or organizing a “Red Dress Luncheon” to raise awareness about women and heart disease. Women who have seen, heard, or read about The Red Dress® are more likely to know that heart disease is their leading killer than women who are not familiar with the symbol. Two-thirds of women say that The Red Dress® makes them want to learn more about heart disease.
- Learn about heart attack warning signs in our new video.
Listen to Maria as she shares her personal heart attack experience, and learn about the symptoms of a heart attack in this new video.
- Learn about coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors.
Certain traits, conditions, or habits—known as risk factors—may raise your risk for CHD. The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk is to develop disease. Eighty percent of women aged 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease. Having just one risk factor doubles your chance of developing heart disease! Learn more about CHD risk factors.
- Learn how your heart works.
Your heart is vital to your health and nearly everything that goes on in your body. It’s located under your ribcage in the center of your chest between your right and left lungs. A normal, healthy, adult heart usually is the size of an average clenched adult fist. Find out what’s behind the lub-DUB sound—View an animation to see how your heart pumps blood.
- Share “stories from the heart.”
Heart disease affects women in every community in the United States—and may affect you. It can alter or damage your life, or even take it away. If you have heart disease, you are not alone. Explore stories that women have shared about how heart disease has changed their lives and outlooks.
- Talk to your doctor about your heart health.
Your doctor can be an important partner in helping you set and reach goals for heart health. Don’t wait for your doctor to mention heart disease or its risk factors. Speak up, ask questions, and if you don’t understand something your doctor says, ask for an explanation in simple language. Review our list of questions to ask your doctor.
- Share these statistics with your family and friends.
- One in 4 women in the United States dies of heart disease, while 1 in 30 dies of breast cancer.
- CHD is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States.
- In 2009, 50 percent of women aged 25–34 years were aware of heart disease as their #1 killer, up from just 16 percent in 1997.
- By leading a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 82 percent.
- Spread the word: Teach others about heart disease.
The Heart Truth® for Women: A Speaker’s Kit (en Español) provides everything you need to hold a 1-hour session on heart disease—instructions, overheads, handouts, responses to likely questions, and a compelling video that features women telling their own stories about how heart disease changed their lives.
- Stay up-to-date about The Heart Truth® events through social media.
Visit The Heart Truth® social media page to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. You’ll also find Web banners, sample tweets, and more.
Join the conversation with the NHLBI
on Twitter on Facebook Email Updates
® The Heart Truth, its logo, The Red Dress, and Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear—It’s the #1 Killer of Women are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
® National Wear Red Day is a registered trademark of HHS and the American Heart Association.