February is the month of flowers, hearts, and love, right?  Many people don’t know February is also National Heart Month! I’m not talking about the big chocolate hearts we eat from our loved ones; I’m referring to the blood-pumping organ inside your body keeping you alive.

The Heart Foundation just released the following heart disease statistics.

  • Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming approximately 1 million lives annually.
  • Every 33 seconds someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease which is roughly the equivalent of a September 11th-like tragedy repeating itself every 24 hours, 365 days a year.
  • More die of heart disease than of AIDS and all cancers combined.
  • By 2020, heart disease will be the leading cause of death throughout the world.
  • This year more than 920,000 Americans will have a heart attack; nearly half of them will occur without prior symptoms or warning signs.
  • 250,000 Americans die annually of Sudden Cardiac Death – 680 every day of the year.
  • One-half of the victims of Sudden Cardiac Death are under the age of 65.
  • An estimated 80 million Americans have one or more types of heart disease.
  • About 8.9 million Americans have chest pain (angina) caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle which occurs when the coronary arteries become blocked with a build-up of plaque.
  • Currently about 7.9 million Americans are alive who have had a heart attack.

Those are some frightening statistics. What can we do to have a healthier heart? 1.) Manage your weight and diet. Instead of indulging in chocolate, grab some fruit and take a long romantic walk. 2.) Don’t smoke, smoking is the leading cause of premature heart attacks. 3.) Get active, getting plenty of exercise is one of the best things you can do for your heart.

The College Of Health Care Professions- Fort Worth Campus has taken the initiative to get heart healthy. On February 5, 2013 CHCP  held the First Annual CHCP Heart Walk. Students and faculty will walk on every break to help promote a healthy lifestyle and in return a healthy heart. What will you do to ensure a healthy heart?

Kara Wiggins
Director Of Career Services
Fort Worth Campus