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February is American Heart Month

February 4, 2014
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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Fifty years ago President Lyndon B. Johnson declared February as American Heart Month. President Obama has continued this tradition in a proclamation. “By adopting a few healthy habits—getting regular exercise; eating diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol—each of us can reduce our risk,” he said.

The American Heart Association (AHA) is one resource for information on maintaining a healthy heart throughout life, warning signals of potential heart events or stroke and research.

Don’t wait to call 911 if a person is experiencing the signs of a heart attack or cardiac arrest, advises the AHA. Not all symptoms may manifest during a heart attack. Quick action can save a life.


  • Chest discomfort. This feels like a squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts a few minutes, goes away and returns.
  • Discomfort in other parts of the upper body such as the jaw, back, neck, stomach and one or both arms.
  • Shortness of breath may be an indicator of heart attack.
  • Other signs may include nausea, lightheadedness or a cold sweat.


  • Nonresponsiveness. The individual in crisis does not respond to tapping on the shoulder.
  • Abnormal breathing when the victim’s head is tilted up and checked for at least five seconds.


Eliminating the use of tobacco, keeping a healthy weight and maintaining a blood pressure below 120/80 are a few of the AHA’s seven simple tips for a healthy heart, according to a WebMD article.


For more than 10 years, the AHA has sponsored National Wear Red Day to raise awareness of heart disease, the number #1 cause of death for women. It claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Not only does this event focus on those struggling with heart disease, but it also supports and recognizes the healthcare professionals that provide treatment, care and research.

On Valentine’s Day give your heart the hearts of those you care about information and encouragement that will show your love all year long.


Sandra Hoban

Managing Editor

Sandra Hoban


Sandra Hoban has been on Long-Term Living’s editorial staff for 17 years. She is one of...