February is Heart Health Month; Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death in the United States

Modified: May 17, 2016 12:31pm

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From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

Date February 5, 2016

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

February is Heart Health Month

Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death in the United States

ERIE COUNTY, NY— President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the first American Heart Month in 1964. Ever since then, the month of February has been dedicated to cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer of both men and women, but steps can be taken to reduce risk and improve outcome. These efforts include constant research aimed at improving cardiovascular health and raising public awareness to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans.

Every 80 seconds, one woman is killed by heart disease or stroke, killing more women than all forms of cancers combined. That’s 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. “Building awareness, especially among women, is one of the best ways to fight this horrible disease,” stated Erie County Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale Burstein. “80% of these deaths can be prevented with education and action, such as eating healthier and getting more exercise.”

An estimated 85.6 million people in the U.S. are living with cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and chest pain. Among U.S. adults, 32.6 percent—about 80 million—have high blood pressure.

“Everyone needs to make their heart health a priority. Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider for a prevention check-up to review your overall health, and measure blood pressure, check cholesterol and look for signs of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses,” concluded Burstein.

Everyone can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

To lower your risk:

• Watch your weight.

• Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

• Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

• Get active and eat healthy.

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For More Information:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

American Heart Association

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations