By John Clymer, Executive Director, National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention
Chances are you know somebody who has or may be at risk for cardiovascular disease. That’s because cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the number one cause of death, both in the United States and globally. The sad reality is that 1 in 3 Americans die from this disease each year, but the good news is there are ways to manage your risk.
This is why one day each year, September 29, is devoted to raising awareness about cardiovascular disease: World Heart Day. This observance, created by the World Heart Federation, is the world’s largest cardiovascular initiative. As a result, it provides the National Forum an opportunity to raise awareness and underscore the importance of managing one’s risk for cardiovascular disease and the factors that can cause it.
In celebration of World Heart Day 2015, we are proud to be working with our members to educate our communities on how to live healthier lives this fall. The AstraZeneca “Make Your Move Across America” initiative, a national cholesterol education campaign that offers free cholesterol screenings to adults 18 and older in select cities across the country, is an activity we are proud to be a part of this World Heart Day. Make Your Move Across America provides adults an opportunity to learn their cholesterol numbers and how to work with their doctor to manage them if necessary, which are critical components to reducing a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke. I encourage you to visit the campaign’s website and join the cholesterol conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #LetsTalkLipids.
Let’s celebrate World Heart Day by putting our cardiovascular health first. Take a moment to speak with your doctor about what you can do to manage your cholesterol so you can make smart choices for your cardiovascular health this year and every year!
Do you know your numbers?
An estimated 71 million American adults, representing 34 percent of the population, have high LDL-C or “bad cholesterol” levels – a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t know that they have high cholesterol because there are usually no signs or symptoms. However, a simple blood test – also known as a lipid profile blood test – can help to determine your levels and is part of a larger cardiac risk assessment.
About John Clymer
John Clymer is executive director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, an independent, nonprofit catalyst for collaboration. Additionally, he is an adjunct assistant professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and member of the US Community Preventive Services Task Force.