WASHINGTON, D.C. --  Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced legislation on Friday, Valentine Day to recognize February as American Heart Month nationwide.  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, who serves as co-chair of the Congressional Heart & Stroke Coalition.  “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.”

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. 

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“Cardiovascular disease 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,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.  

“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 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.”

Heart Month will be celebrated around the nation throughout February at awareness events, galas and free medical screenings.  

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