Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer

American Heart Month -- February 2000

In 1997, heart disease was the leading cause of death and stroke was the third leading cause of death among U.S. adults (1), affecting approximately 726,974 and 159,791 persons, respectively (1). A high proportion of these deaths can be prevented by reducing or controlling risk factors, including smoking, physical inactivity, dietary intake of cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure (2). In conjunction with American Heart Month, this issue of MMWR includes a report that describes excess stroke deaths among U.S. adults by age and racial/ethnic group.

During February, CDC-funded state cardiovascular health programs and their partners will highlight prevention programs that use culturally appropriate approaches to reduce the level of disparity in heart disease and stroke. For example, two counties in North Carolina are using policy and environmental changes to improve nutrition and to increase physical activity in the black community. In New York, the Healthy Heart Program and its local partners are sponsoring a campaign in two urban areas to encourage blacks and others to switch to low-fat or fat-free milk.

Information about warning signs and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) is available on the World-Wide Web: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute,; Brain Attack Coalition,; American Heart Association,; American Stroke Association,; and National Stroke Association,* Information about cardiovascular disease is available from CDC at .


  1. Hoyert DL, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL. Deaths: final data for 1997. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 47, no. 19. Hyattsville, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, 1999.
  2. Grundy SM, Balady GJ, Criqui MH, et al. Guide to primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Circulation 1997;95:2329-31.

*References to sites of non-CDC organizations on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Page converted: 2/10/2000


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A


Department of Health
and Human Services

This page last reviewed 5/2/01