February is American Heart Month—a great time to think about your loved ones and to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, killing more than 375,000 people per year, according to the American Heart Association’s 2015 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update. This update is compiled annually by the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other government sources.

Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Heart disease accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the United States, while direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke total more than $320 billion (including health expenditures and lost productivity).

There is good news! Over the past 10 years, for which statistics are available, the death rate from heart disease has fallen nearly 39 percent.

Recent efforts by the public and private sectors have focused on the tragic impact of heart disease and stroke. Two national initiatives that play a vital role in fighting heart disease are MillionHearts® and Go Red for Women®.

With raised awareness and prevention, more lives can be saved.

So this February, help get the word out about American Heart Month and don’t forget to wear red on Friday, February 6 (National Wear Red Day®).

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