February is American Heart Month, a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health and risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, affecting Americans of all backgrounds. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds and someone dies from heart-disease related causes every minute. One out of every four deaths in the United States is from heart disease. Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States over $200 billion each year in healthcare costs, medications, and lost productivity.
There are a number of risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for one’s heart health. Almost half of Americans (47%) are affected by at least one of these risks. A diagnosis of diabetes also comes with increased risk of heart disease, as well as poor diet, obesity, and excessive alcohol use.