After months of isolation, being tied to computer screens and waiting for the world to return to normal, we have seen the nightmare of health disparities exacerbated for millions of Americans. In February during American Heart Month, we are calling for action from Middle Tennessee to reimagine what a healthy world could look like right here in our own neighborhoods.
In the video-everything world of TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, the American Heart Association, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, is inviting everyone to be the healthy, positive influencer in their own community. Record a 5-10 second video sharing your fitness goals, eating habits, or lifestyle changes saying, "Watch me..." and then post to social media channels with #WATCHME and encourage family and friends to do the same.
"Our world is different than it was a year ago and it will keep changing. American Heart Month is an ideal time to take the challenges we are facing and turn them into opportunities," said Kelley Tune, Executive Director of Middle Tennessee's American Heart Association. "We want to remind our communities to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved as well."
American Heart Month kicks off on February 5th with National Wear Red Day® when the nation comes together, igniting a wave of red from coast to coast. From landmarks to news anchors and neighborhoods to online communities; this annual groundswell unites millions of people for a common goal: the eradication of heart disease and stroke in women. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women - and too many women, particularly our youngest, most diverse women, remain unaware. Many landmarks and iconic buildings in Middle Tennessee will be shining red that evening including the Batman Building, Nissan Stadium, the Tennessee State Capitol Building, the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, Adventure Science Center, The Ryman, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospitals and more!
"Ascension Saint Thomas Heart is proud of our meaningful, long-standing partnership with the American Heart Association," said Dr. Evelio Rodriguez, Board President of the Middle Tennessee American Heart Association and Co-Director of Ascension Saint Thomas Heart. "As we reflect on 2020, a year like no other, it is more crucial than ever that Middle Tennesseans consider their holistic well-being and commit to heart-healthy habits. We thank the American Heart Association for leading the way and calling us to action on National Wear Red Day and every day."
What can you do? On February 5th wear red, post on social media and encourage friends and family to do the same. Because losing an entire generation to cardiovascular disease because they were not aware simply is not an option. See how the folks at Ascension Saint Thomas are taking back their health here.
The American Heart Association's signature movement, Go Red for Women®, is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with support from National Wear Red Day matching partner Big Lots, and locally sponsored by Ascension Saint Thomas Health.
The first American Heart Month, which took place in February 1964, was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson via Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963. The Congress, by joint resolution on that date, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.
Stats and Facts
- Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States.
- Heart disease kills one woman every 80 seconds and takes more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
- Heart disease and stroke also impact the lives of 1 in 3 women - or a third of mothers, sisters and friends - and cardiac events are on the rise in young women in their 20s.
- Here in Middle Tennessee, over 2,800 people dies each year from heart disease.
- Coronary heart disease accounted for approximately 13% of deaths in the United States in 2017, causing 365,914 deaths.
- Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds on average.
- When considered separately from other cardiovascular diseases, stroke ranks number five among all causes of death in the US, causing 146,383 deaths in 2017.
- In 2017, stroke accounted for about one of every 19 deaths in the United States.
- The American Heart Association has funded more than $4.5 billion in research since 1949 and funds more research into cardiovascular diseases and stroke than any other private not-for-profit organization except for the federal government.
- From 2013 to 2016, 57.1% of non-Hispanic (NH) Black females and 60.1% of NH Black males had some form of cardiovascular disease.
For additional information, charts and tables, see Heart Disease & Stroke Statistics -2020 Update