Heart Disease is the Number One Cause of Death
About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack. About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.1
The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Additionally, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of another heart attack or a stroke in the future. For more information on heart disease and stroke, visit CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.
Diseases and Conditions That Put Your Heart at Risk
Other conditions that affect your heart or increase your risk of death or disability include arrhythmia, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and secondhand smoke are also risk factors associated with heart disease. For a full list of diseases and conditions along with risk factors and other health information associated with heart disease, visit theAmerican Heart Association.
Know Your Signs and Symptoms
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense; however, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
The American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Red Cross, and the National Council on Aging have launched a new "Act in Time" campaign to increase people's awareness of heart attack and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms. Find the links here.
Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects
A report by The Institute of Medicine finds even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger a heart attack. Tobacco smoke can cause health problems not only for smokers, but also for people around them. Breathing secondhand smoke increases a person's risk for a heart attack and other heart conditions.2
Visit the CDC Office on Smoking and Health Web site for more detailed information about the IOM Report on Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects include the following:
- Analysis of the report findings.
- Animation of how secondhand smoke affects the cardiovascular system.
- CDC statement on report findings.
Healthy Lifestyle: Diet and Nutrition, Exercise and Fitness
A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Many people make it harder than it is. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts. As you make daily food choices, read nutrition labels and base your eating pattern on these recommendations:
- Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
- Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
- Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
- Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
- Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
- Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks per day if you're a man.
- Keep an eye on your portion sizes.
See CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Web site for more tips on nutrition.
Physical activity in your daily life is an important step to preventing heart disease. You can take a few simple steps at home, at work, and at play to increase the amount of physical activity in your life. See CDC's physical activity Web site for tips and more information.
Women and Heart Disease: Quick Facts
Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a "man's disease," it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, and women account for nearly 50% of heart disease deaths.
In 2007, heart disease was the cause of death in 306,246 females.3
Heart disease is often perceived as an "older woman's disease," and it is the leading cause of death among women aged 65 years and older. However, heart disease is the third leading cause of death among women aged 25–44 years and the second leading cause of death among women aged 45–64 years. Remember that many cases of heart disease can be prevented! 4
For more information and facts on women and heart disease, see the Women and Heart Disease Fact Sheet.
CDC's WISEWOMAN Program
The mission of CDC's WISEWOMAN program is to provide low-income, under- or uninsured 40- to 64-year-old women with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to improve diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle behaviors to prevent or delay cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.
WISEWOMAN provides these additional services:
- Screening for chronic disease risk factors.
- Dietary, physical activity, and smoking cessation interventions.
- Referral and follow-up as appropriate.
For more information on how you can take advantage of these services, visit WISEWOMAN and click on program locations.
Women and Heart Disease Campaigns
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's nationwide movement that celebrates the energy, passion, and power women have to band together and wipe out heart disease. Thanks to the participation of millions of people across the country, the color red and the red dress have become linked with the ability all women have to improve their heart health and live stronger, longer lives.
The Heart Truth Campaign is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease. The campaign created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wakeup call to American women. The Red Dress alerts women of The Heart Truth message: "Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You WearIt is the #1 Killer of Women."
National Wear Red Day is a day when Americans nationwide will wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness. This observance promotes the Red Dress symbol and provides an opportunity for everyone to unite in this life-saving awareness movement by showing off a favorite red dress, shirt, or tie, or Red Dress Pin.
Participate in National Wear Red Day—Everyone (men too) can support the fight against heart disease in women by wearing red on February 4, 2011. See CDC's Office of Women's Health, Wear It Well: Women and Heart Disease Prevention.
Men and Heart Disease: Quick Facts
- In 2007, heart disease was the cause of death in 309,821 American men.3
- The average age for a first heart attack for men is 66 years.1
- Almost half of men who have a heart attack under age 65 die within 8 years.1
- Between 70% and 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.1
For more information and facts about men and heart disease, visit the Men and Heart Disease Fact Sheet.
Interactive Tools to Help Guide Your Everyday Choices
- Know your heart numbers. Find out what you can do to improve and maintain these numbers—and live a longer, stronger life.
- Learn and Live Quiz. Take our quiz to learn your risk for heart disease. Register after the quiz and we'll send you a free cookbook.
- Where’s the Salt?. Take the salt intake quiz to discover how much is in your food and its effect on your health.
- Interactive Menu Planner
- CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- WISEWOMAN: Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation
- Genomics and Heart
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Mortality Resulting From Congenital Heart Disease
- American Heart Association
- American Stroke Association
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
- Send a Heart Healthy e-Card
- Become an advocate for health by posting a button or badge to your Web site, blog, or social networking profile.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!
National Children's Dental Health Month
National Children's Dental Health Month
Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.
Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Whether you're a member of the dental team, a teacher or a parent, the ADA has free online resources that can help you with oral health presentations, ideas for the classroom and coloring and activity sheets that can be used as handouts. We also have booklets, videos and other materials available for purchase through our ADA Catalog.
February is National Pet Dental Health Month
Don't turn your nose to Fido's or Fluffy's bad breath! That odor might signify a serious health risk, with the potential to damage not only your pet's teeth and gums but its internal organs as well.
To address the significance of oral health care for pets, the AVMA and several veterinary groups are sponsoring National Pet Dental Health Month in February.
Click on the links below to learn more about National Pet Dental Health Month, and how you can improve the dental (and overall) health of your pets.
[stream flv= em
Dr. Sheldon Rubin gives easy, step-by-step instructions on how to teach a dog or cat to accept a daily tooth brushing. He also describes healthy treats, and explains the true risks of periodontal disease in pets.