Febuary 14, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC–Bipartisan legislation recognizing February as American Heart Month was introduced in the House of Representatives today.
Congressman Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chair of the Congressional Heart & Stroke Coalition, along with fellow Co-Chair Joyce Beatty (D-OH), authored the resolution, HRes. 860, in honor of the approximately 647,000 Americans who die from some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, and more women die from heart disease than all cancers combined,” said Smith. “In my home state of New Jersey alone, there are approximately 420,000 cases of coronary heart disease—the most common type of CVD—according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH); that is unacceptable. We must continue to work together to know and understand the risks of CVD, and the small steps we can take to prevent it.”
“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition and a stroke survivor, I have long championed the need for men and women to get ‘heart healthy,’” said Beatty. “To that effect, according to the American Heart Association, there are many steps that you can take right now to decrease your risk of heart disease, including exercising, eating a balanced diet, and knowing the early warning signs. That’s why I urge all Central Ohioans and all Americans to ‘Go Red’ and help spread the word this Heart Month.”
The resolution is support by two of the leading organizations committed to promoting American heart health: the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.
“Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the world’s leading cause of preventable death and disability. After decades of a steady decline in the U.S., CVD death rates are on the rise, which points to the urgent need for more research, prevention and early detection programs,” saidNancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “Now, more than ever, we need support from Members of Congress to address the health and economic crisis that CVD poses to our nation. We are grateful to Representatives Joyce Beatty and Chris Smith, our Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition Co-Chairs, for introducing this year’s Heart Month Resolution and for their ongoing advocacy in the fight against heart disease and stroke.”
“Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide. While awareness of heart disease prevention is increasing, it is not nearly fast enough to curb the spread of this deadly disease, which is largely preventable in many cases,” said American College of Cardiology President Richard Kovacs, MD, FACC. “The ACC thanks Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition Co-Chairs Reps. Joyce Beatty and Chris Smith for their continued advocacy to end the global health crisis of heart disease. The ACC is committed to working with Congress to continue raising awareness of heart disease prevention and to increase funding for cardiovascular research this Heart Month and every month.”
Though Heart Month will be celebrated around the nation throughout February at awareness events, galas and free medical screenings, all Americans should work to live healthier lives all year long.