American Heart Month 2018: You’re in Control
This Year's Focus
Younger adults are at risk. National trends show heart disease death rates are declining more slowly than they have in the past, especially among adults ages 35 to 64. In many communities across the U.S., death rates are actually increasing among adults in this age group.1 Not only are more younger adults dying of heart disease, but their rates of risk factors—such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, and hypertension—are also increasing.
You can help younger adults take control. For American Heart Month, join the CDC Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Million Hearts® in letting younger adults know they are not immune to heart disease, but that they can reduce their risk—at any age—through lifestyle changes and by managing medical conditions.
Use the messages and resources below on your communications channels throughout February and beyond to empower younger adults to take control of their heart health.
Key Messages: Take Control of Your Heart Health
- Find time to be active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Invite fitness buddies on an afternoon stroll, try an exercise class, or challenge the whole family to a soccer match.
- Make healthy eating a habit. Small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference. Try making healthier versions of your favorite recipes. How? Look for ways to lower sodium and trans fat, and add more fruits and vegetables.
- Quit tobacco—for good. Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products affects nearly every organ in your body, including your heart.Quitting can be tough, but it can be easier when you feel supported. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) today or start with Tips from Former Smokers®.
- Know your numbers. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease. Ask your health care team to check your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels regularly and help you take steps to control your levels.
- Stick to the ’script. Taking your medications can be tough, especially if you feel fine. But sticking with your medication routine is important for managing and controlling conditions that could put your heart at risk.2 This video offers tips to help you take medicines at the right time and in the prescribed amount.
Follow Million Hearts® on Facebook and Twitter for American Heart Month messages you can easily share on your channels.
Do you have plans this February? Join our peer-to-peer #HeartMonthChallenge on Facebook.
Each week, we will post heart-healthy challenges. We invite you and your peers to share your participation in the challenges on our Facebook wall. You may discover you’re already well on your way to heart health. Challenge posts begin on February 5. See you there!
Social Media Messages
Educate your social media followers about their potential risk for heart disease and ways to control it. Check out our library of shareable graphics on Facebook, too!
- Heart disease can happen at any age. For #HeartMonth and beyond, learn about simple lifestyle changes you can make to get your heart health on track. http://bit.ly/2kszbWB
- Too young for heart disease? Think again: Heart disease can happen at any age. That’s why it’s important to take control of your heart health NOW. Learn how with CDC [tag]. #HeartMonth http://bit.ly/2kszbWB
- New research suggests people are being diagnosed with heart disease risk factors at younger ages. Don’t wait to take care of yourself. This American #HeartMonth, take control of your heart health with tips from Million Hearts [tag]. http://bit.ly/2gN3lCh
- Is your heart age greater than your actual age? If so, you may be at risk for heart disease. Use this CDC [tag] calculator to find your Heart Age. #HeartMonth http://bit.ly/2iXzGsD
- #HeartDisease can happen at any age. Learn about simple lifestyle changes you can take to get your heart health on track. http://bit.ly/2kszbWB #HeartMonth
- Too young for heart disease? Think again: Heart disease can happen at any age. Take control of your heart health NOW. http://bit.ly/2kszbWB #HeartMonth @CDCgov
- When it comes to heart health, YOU are in control. Take steps today for a heart-healthy future. Here’s how. http://bit.ly/2gN3lCh #HeartMonth @MillionHeartsUS
- Is your #HeartAge greater than your actual age? That may put you at risk for heart disease. Use @CDCgov’s calculator to find your Heart Age. http://bit.ly/2iXzGsD #HeartMonth
Interactive “What’s Your Heart Age?” Tools
CDC’s Heart Age calculator estimates a person’s heart age based on questions about risk factors and compares it to his or her actual age. It’s a great way to help adults understand their potential heart disease risk. Watch and share this video to learn more about heart age.
For Health Professionals
- Annals of Epidemiology. Widespread recent increases in county-level heart disease mortality across age groups [online]. 2017. [cited 2018 Jan 19]. Available from URL: http://www.annalsofepidemiology.org/article/S1047-2797(17)30868-2/fulltext?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=1047-2797_201712_27_12_&elsca4=Epidemiology%7CPublic%20Health%7CHealth%20Policy.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blood Pressure Control [online]. 2016. [cited 2018 Jan 19]. Available from URL: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/blood-pressure/index.html.