February is American Heart Month. Just like it's important to prevent your risk of auto accidents and other serious injury accidents, it's also important to prevent your risk of heart disease and stroke. Consider the following facts:

  • Heart disease causes 1 in every 4 deaths in the US
  • Heart disease is the No. 1 leading cause of death in the US
  • Stroke in the No. 4 cause of death in the US

Talk to your physician about your heart health. The US Department of Health & Human Services recommends reducing your risk of heart attacks and strokes by following ABCS:

Aspirin: Ask your physician if you should be taking an aspirin every day to prevent heart attack and stroke.

Blood pressure: Get your blood pressure checked. If you know your blood pressure is high, talk to your physician about how to manage it. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of heart disease and stroke.

Cholesterol: High cholesterol can contribute to these health problems as well. Talk to your physician about your cholesterol and whether you need to take steps to lower it.

Smoking: Smoking cigarettes is a major contributor to your heart disease risk. If you currently smoke, you should take steps to quit right away – it's never too late to quit, no matter how long you have been smoking. If you don't already smoke, don't start.

Please learn more about the Million Hearts® initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.