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  • February is American Heart Month

    This February marks the 57th consecutive American Heart Month, an important annual awareness campaign spearheaded by the American Heart Association (AHA). This year’s campaign: “Heart to Heart: Why Losing One Woman is Too Many” is raising awareness about how 1 in 3 women are diagnosed with heart disease each year. Heart disease is the number one killer for men and women in the United States, claiming approximately 695,000 lives annually. With February’s American Heart Month rapidly approaching, it is a great time for people to learn how they can actively participate in their cardiovascular health and reduce preventable risk factors.

    Facts on Heart Disease

    Heart disease is an all-encompassing term for a range of medical conditions that affect the heart. Some of the most common types of heart disease are high blood pressure, angina, unstable angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms), valve disease, congenital heart conditions and inherited heart conditions. Certain people face higher risks for developing heart disease than others do. Risk factors for heart disease include physical inactivity, smoking, an unhealthy diet, being overweight or obese, having high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and/or diabetes and excessive alcohol consumption.

    Here are some other important facts on heart disease from a recent AHA publication in the medical journal Circulation:

    • Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, remains the leading cause of death in the United States. In 2020, CVD was responsible for a whopping 928,741 deaths
    • The leading cause of CVD deaths in 2020 were coronary heart disease (accounting for 41.2% of fatalities), followed closely by stroke (17.3%), other CVD (16.8%), high blood pressure (12.9%), heart failure (9.2%) and diseases of the arteries, which accounted for 2.6% of deaths
    • Heart disease and stroke take more lives each year than cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD) combined
    • Non-Hispanic (NH) Black men and NH Black women suffered from the highest incidence rate of CVD from 2017 to 2020. 59% of NH Black females and 58.9% of NH Black males had some form of cardiovascular disease during that period
    • Altogether, CVD accounted for more than 19 million deaths across the globe in 2020
    • On average, strokes were responsible for every 1 of 2 deaths that same year
    • On average, someone in the U.S. will have a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, every 40 seconds
    • Coronary heart disease caused more than 382,000 deaths in 2020

    This Year’s Theme: “Heart to Heart: Why Losing One Woman is Too Many”

    This year’s campaign, “Heart to Heart: Why Losing One Woman is Too Many”, focuses on how 1 out of 3 women are diagnosed with heart disease each year. Not only will the campaign be observed throughout the month of February, but the first Friday of American Heart Month (February 5th) is also National Wear Red Day as part of the AHA’s Red for Women initiative. The AHA established Go Red for Women as its signature women’s initiative back in 2004. The initiative was developed in response to what the organization identified as some of the greatest threats to women’s cardiovascular health, which are significant gaps in awareness and clinical care procedures when it comes to female patients.

    To commemorate this year’s American Heart Month, here are some important facts to get familiar with regarding how heart disease affects women in the United States:

    • Almost 45% of women ages 20 and above are living with some form of cardiovascular disease
    • Less than half of women entering pregnancy have optimal cardiovascular health
    • Women experience unique life stages, like pregnancy and menopause, which can increase their risk for developing cardiovascular disease

    If you would like to learn more about women and heart disease, please visit:

    Some General Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease

    Heart disease can often be prevented by reducing known risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle. A heart healthy lifestyle includes not smoking, getting sufficient physical activity, eating a healthy and well-rounded diet, controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and having regular check-ups. However, even when people take steps to reduce risk factors, they still sometimes develop heart disease.

    Symptoms of heart disease can vary greatly based on a person’s condition. An individual who is having a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, for example, may experience chest pain or discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and more. Someone experiencing heart failure may exhibit symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins. Arrhythmia, or an abnormal heart rhythm, often presents as a fluttering or racing heartbeat and/or chest palpitations. If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing a major health event, please call 9-1-1 right away.

    Early intervention, treatment, and other types of preventive measures are essential in securing a positive medical outcome. If you have more questions about how to improve your heart health or if you have concerns about your medical status, set up an appointment with a trusted medical provider. If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding a heart health-related medical claim, someone with our firm can help. To learn more, contact a representative online now.

    Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)