CDC: February is American Heart Month

CDC is reminding everyone that February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States with women accounting for 47.1 percent of deaths related to heart disease.

In 2005, CDC said, an estimated 16 million persons in the United States were living with coronary heart disease, and 8.1 million reported ever having had a myocardial infarction (i.e., heart attack).

Although the major heart attack signs and symptoms are similar for men and women, women are more likely to experience the less common symptoms and delay seeking emergency treatment. Receipt of prompt, appropriate treatment greatly increases the chance of surviving a heart attack.

CDC funds heart disease and stroke prevention programs in health departments in 33 states and the District of Columbia. A primary activity of these programs is conducting campaigns to increase public awareness of heart attack signs and symptoms and the importance of calling 9-1-1 when experiencing these symptoms.

Information regarding heart disease is available from the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. For information regarding CDC's heart disease programs, visit www.cdc.gov/dhdsp.

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