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February is American Heart Month, an ideal time to highlight heart health to the communities you serve. Not only does February contain Valentine’s Day, it comes shortly after the holiday season, when we tend to eat too much rich and sweet food. It’s in February when individuals may struggle to stay committed to their New Year’s resolutions. American Heart Month offers an opportunity for you to double your efforts to improve heart health in your community and encourage those you serve to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle.
We know African American men in particular can benefit from focusing on their heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men. High blood pressure—the leading cause of heart disease and stroke—affects more than 40 percent of all African American men, and is even higher for African American men who live in the southeast region of the U.S.
The good news is that most heart attacks and strokes can be prevented. That’s why this February during American Heart Month, Million Hearts® is challenging African American men to start one new, heart-healthy behavior, taking one step at a time until they’ve made all the recommended lifestyle changes. You can support this effort by encouraging the men in your life to:
Healthy is strong! Share your successes with others on Facebook, and visit the Million Hearts® website to find tools you can use to help African American men in your community set heart-healthy goals that last a lifetime.
Dr. Janet Wright is the Executive Director of Million Hearts®, an HHS national initiative, co-led by CDC and CMS, with the goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017.
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