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Announcement: World Heart Day — September 29, 2015

World Heart Day will be observed September 29, 2015. The focus of World Heart Day is creating heart-healthy environments where persons live, work and play. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death in the world. An estimated 17.5 million persons died from CVD in 2012 (1). Of these deaths, 7.4 million were attributable to coronary heart disease (1), the most common type of heart disease. With about 610,000 deaths from heart disease in the United States every year (2), all persons in the United States should learn more about preventing heart disease.

World Heart Day encourages persons to reduce their risk for heart disease by making environmental and lifestyle changes (e.g., quitting smoking and promoting smoke-free environments, increasing physical activity, and increasing access to heart-healthy foods such as low-fat and low-sodium foods). About 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable; however, in the United States, one in every four deaths is from heart disease (2). Heart disease is the leading cause of death for persons of most racial/ethnic groups, including blacks, Hispanics, and whites (2).

On September 1, 2015, MMWR published a Vital Signs report indicating that three out of four U.S. adults have a heart age that is older than their chronological age (3). That report was the first to provide population-level estimates of heart age and to highlight disparities in heart age nationwide. Persons wishing to learn their heart age and how to improve it can access a heart age calculator at

Among the many ways CDC is working to help create heart-healthy environments are supporting the Million Hearts initiative and the Sodium Reduction in Communities Program. Million Hearts aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 by improving community and clinical linkages and working with public and private partners to address risk factors for heart disease, especially hypertension. The Sodium Reduction in Communities Program explores strategies to make food more heart-healthy and lower in sodium in work sites, hospitals, restaurants, and distributed meals for older adults and preschool children.

Additional information about World Heart Day is available at


  1. World Health Organization. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases, 2014. Available at
  2. CDC. Deaths: final data for 2013. Available at
  3. Yang Q, Zhong Y, Ritchey M, et al. Vital signs: predicted heart age and racial disparities in heart age among U.S. adults at the state level. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015;64:950–8.

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