As February rolls around, we often think of hearts in relation to Valentine’s Day. However, there’s another observance in February related to hearts: American Heart Month. Throughout the month of February, individuals and organizations across the country promote awareness of the fight against cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in the United States. American Heart Month is an important reminder to prioritize heart health, embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle, and drive awareness that the choices we make today can profoundly impact our health tomorrow.

History of American Heart Month

American Heart Month was first established by Presidential Proclamation in December of 1963 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. When announcing the monthly observance to the American public, President Johnson urged “the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution.”

In the last 10 years, deaths from heart disease have decreased, but heart disease remains the leading cause of deaths in the United States, according to the CDC. Throughout American Heart Month, organizations and individuals aim to raise awareness of the risk factors for heart disease, advocate for the continued research into lifesaving medical innovations, and remember and honor those who have been lost to a variety of cardiovascular diseases.

 Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Throughout American Heart Month, you may hear heart disease specifically referenced, or cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the broad umbrella term for all types of diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels. This could include:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart Failure
  • Peripheral Artery Disease

Heart disease is a type of cardiovascular disease, but it is also a catch-all term for a variety of conditions affecting the heart. These conditions include:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart Arrhythmias
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Pericardial Disease

It’s important to be aware of the different types of cardiovascular diseases, particularly because of the prevalence and seriousness of these diseases in the United States. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:


  • More than 800,000 people die of cardiovascular disease each year in the US
  • Almost 650,000 Americans die from heart disease each year
  • Nearly 11% of American Adults have been diagnosed with heart disease

Find Support

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is an important part of combatting heart disease and a number of other harmful conditions. If you find yourself needing support in this journey, services are available through your EAP. Depending on your needs, you might connect with a short-term counselor, use self-directed digital skill-building modules, or explore additional resources in the Uprise Health Member Resource Hub.