It’s February, and that means heart-shaped everything is everywhere. What better month to emphasize heart health? February is American Heart Month, recognized annually by presidential proclamation since 1964 (you can read President Biden’s 2022 Proclamation on American Heart Month here).
As heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States, agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute put extra emphasis into this month to educate and motivate Americans to be aware of cardiovascular health in order to prevent heart disease.
With heightened awareness around heart health for American Heart Month, this February is the perfect time to raise awareness of ForHearts Worldwide and the work we’re doing around the world to provide live-saving pacemaker procedures to those with heart rhythm conditions.
How can you help raise awareness?
Share the Facts About Heart Health
The more you know about heart health, cardiovascular disease, and who it impacts, the more you can share about Heartbeat International Foundation and the difference pacemakers can make. Help dispel the myths and share the truths and facts around cardiovascular disease.
Myth: Cardiovascular disease is a “rich countries’ disease.”
On a global scale, nearly one-third of all deaths are due to cardiovascular conditions and diseases, according to the World Health Organization.
Cardiovascular disease is the most common non-communicable disease in the world, responsible for nearly 18.6 million deaths, with more than 75% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Heart Federation.
Truth: People of all ages, from all walks of life, and for many different reasons need pacemakers.
The most common reason for a pacemaker is arrhythmia, meaning the heart has an abnormal rhythm—it can beat too quickly, too slowly, or with an irregular rhythm.
A pacemaker can also help a weak heart to beat “in sync,” which can occur in people who are suffering from:
- Congenital heart defects
- Enlarged heart muscle
- Heart attack
- Heart transplant
- Heart failure
These conditions lead to an estimated 1.14 million to 1.25 million pacemakers being implanted annually worldwide. These figures are expected to grow to 1.43 million pacemaker implantations annually by 2023, with both patient need and the technological advances in pacemaker capabilities driving this increase.
Truth: Pacemakers are highly impactful devices that restore life expectancy with a low rate of risk.
Share Your Pacemaker Experience
Do you or a loved one have a pacemaker? Share your story with your social network using the hashtags #OurHearts and #AmericanHeartMonth and tag Heartbeat International Foundation in your posts:
- Facebook @HeartbeatSaves
- Instagram @heartbeatsaveslives
- Twitter @HeartbeatSaves
- LinkedIn Heartbeat International Foundation, Inc.
If you don’t have a personal or close experience with pacemaker implantation, there’s a good chance you know of someone who has. The stories of celebrities and public figures provide a recognizable experience, and quite a few famous folks are members of “the pacemaker club,” including:
- Elton John
- David Hasselhoff
- Julie Bowen, star of Modern Family
- Ric Flair, professional wrestler
- Kemoy Campbell, Jamaican long-distance runner and Olympian who received a pacemaker at the age of 28 after suffering a cardiac event during competition in 2019.
Hold a Facebook Fundraiser
A Facebook fundraiser can raise awareness with your social network and funds for causes you care about. Setting up a Facebook fundraiser in honor of a loved one who has benefited from a pacemaker can be a great way to give to ForHearts Worldwide and participate in American Heart Month.
It’s easy to set up a fundraiser in your Facebook app:
- Go to “Fundraisers”
- Select “Raise Money”
- Choose “Nonprofit” and type in Heartbeat International Foundation
- Hit “Create” and your fundraiser is live!
Looking for more heart-filled ways to raise awareness? Visit the American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to learn more about heart health, cardiovascular disease prevention, and how you can participate in American Heart Month all February long.