"K.H." created a petition in late October asking the White House to launch a nation-wide campaign called "Start the Beat" in an effort to spread awareness of the seriousness of sudden cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in the United States. Citing other national campaigns like "Stop, drop, and roll" and "Stop the bleed," K.H. hopes that "Start the Beat" will become common knowledge to citizens in the U.S.
At only 868 signatures so far, the Start the Beat petition needs more than 99,000 more signatures by November 20 to get a response from the White House. Sign the petition and help spread the word about heart health!
Heart Disease and Heart Attack Facts
About 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease each year, accounting for approximately 25% of all American deaths. The petition also mentions that the survival rate of a sudden cardiac arrest is only 6%, and that while CPR and AED use significantly increases survivability, bystandards rarely know what to do in these situations, or are too hesitant to take action.
Here are some additional facts about heart health...
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women.
- About 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year; for 520,000 of them, it is their first heart attack.
- In a survey conducted in 2005, only 27% of respondents were aware of all the major symtoms of a heart attack and knew to call 9-1-1.
- Approximately 47% of sudden cardiac deaths happen outside of a hospital, suggesting that people with heart
disease are not acting on the early warning signs. The signs you should be aware of:
- Not only chest pains, but pains in the upper body, including the jaw, neck, arms, and upper torso.
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
- Nausea and dizziness.
- Sudden cold sweats.
- Approximately 47% of Americans have at least one of the three biggest risk factors for heart disease. These are:
- High blood pressure. About 29% of adults in America suffer from high blood pressure, and only half of them have it under control. About 70% of people having their first heart attack have high blood pressure (not to mention the increased chances of suffering from a stroke, chronic heart failure, or kidney disease!).
- High cholesterol. About 31% of adults in America have high cholesterol, and only 30% of them have it under control. People with high cholesterol are about twice as likely to suffer from heart disease.
- Smoking. Americans who smoke die an average of 10 years earlier than non-smokers. Nevertheless, 17% of adults in America in 2014 reported themselves as current, active smokers (smoking about every day). Almost 70% of smokers said they wanted to quit smoking, but only about 40% actually tried to quit in 2011.
- Other serious risk factors include obesity and diabetes, a poor diet and physically inactive lifestyle, and alcohol abuse.