Cause Corner

Heart Awareness Month

From Cupid to candy hearts to homemade valentines, February is the month of love. Valentine’s Day spirit fills the air – and nearly every store – as people worldwide gear up for the most romantic of days. But between the rose bouquets and chocolate boxes, it’s easy to forget that the month of February is dedicated to more than just the romantic matters of the heart. February is also American Heart Month.

Heart disease claims 2,200 lives each day across the United States.  According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women. Heart disease—ranging from heart attacks to strokes—claims one out of three lives throughout the U.S., making it the nation’s leading cause of death. 1.2 million heart attacks, caused by coronary artery disease, occur across the country each year.

With numbers like that, most of us have been affected by heart disease at some point in our lives. At just the age of 22, I have already seen heart disease claim the lives of several family members. Due to the widespread and extensive effects of heart disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), established American Heart Month to increase awareness of the nation’s leading killer and well as education and empower everyone to make heart-healthy choices.

The easiest way to prevent heart disease claiming you as one of its many victims is to know your risks. According to the Mayo Clinic, risks for heart disease fall into one of two categories: controllable and uncontrollable. Several risk factors for heart disease are uncontrollable, including:

  • Male sex
  • Older age
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Post-menopausal
  • Race (African Americans, American Indians, and Mexican Americans are more likely to have heart disease than Caucasians)

Fortunately, there are many heart disease risk factors that you can control through lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. Avoid the following controllable risk factors to help reduce your risk of heart disease:

  • Smoking
  • High “bad” cholesterol and low “good” cholesterol
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • High C-reactive protein
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Uncontrolled stress and anger

Along with educating and empowering Americans to make heart-healthy choices, Heart Month also reminds us of the importance of improving care for those who do need treatment for heart disease.  Enhancing and improving care for people with heart disease is as simple as remembering your “ABC’S,”

A—aspirin for people at risk.

B—blood pressure control.

C—cholesterol management.

S—smoking cessation.

These four steps will help address some of the main risks factors and help prevent future heart attacks and strokes.

So let the confectionary treats, Cupids, and carnations serve as a reminder to take care of your loved ones’ hearts—as well as your own.  Kick candy to the curb and spread the love this year with a red ribbon lapel pin or “love your heart” rubber bracelet. Your valentine will greatly appreciate it.  After all, a healthy heart is a happy heart.

by Jeanne Marie for

Featured Heart Disease Awareness Products from

NEW “Red Cause Awareness” Ribbon Magnet

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Buy other Heart Disease Awareness Products—Red Dress Items, Rubber Wristbands, Lapel Pins, and More.