The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) will recognize February as American Heart Month to create public awareness of risk factors for heart disease and stroke and to promote preventive measures. People are encouraged to "Go Red for Women" on February 3rd by wearing red to promote awareness of the leading cause of death among women: heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease kills more than 600,000 Americans each year – one in every four deaths in the country for both men and women. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for men.

In 1963, President Johnson proclaimed February as "American Heart Month." The American Heart Association, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart diseases and stroke, assisted in drafting this annual proclamation.

According to the CDC, the top three risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Other risk factors include lifestyle, age, and family health history. If you think anyone in your family is at risk for heart disease, check with your health professional.

DPH offers two programs dedicated to promoting heart health: The Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) program and the Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program (available for men and women). Through educational outreach, these programs strive to improve the heart health of people in Connecticut by improving access to early and affordable detection and treatment of heart disease. Both programs are funded through the CDC.

To learn more about heart disease and these DPH programs visit the Department of Public Health’s website:

For information about American Heart Month, visit the American Heart Association website at