American Heart Association - You’re the Cure
WELCOME! PLEASE LOGIN OR SIGN UP

LoginLogin with Facebook

Remember me Forgot Password

Be the Cure, Join Today!

  • Learn about heart-health issues
  • Meet other likeminded advocates
  • Take action and be heard
SIGN UP

Today on The Pulse View All

Get Covered, Stay Covered!

More than 10 million Americans gained affordable health insurance in 2014. Starting on November 15, individuals and their families can sign up or renew their coverage for 2015 using the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace offers quality health plans and financial assistance to help pay for the cost of your health insurance. If you are uninsured – or know someone who is -- or you need to renew your health insurance, here are some facts and resources to help you get started…

Reading up about health insurance can take a little time, but it will pay off — for your heart health and your wallet!

1)      Learn the facts -- The Marketplace is a new way for consumers to shop for and purchase health insurance that best meets their needs and budget. Having health insurance gives you peace of mind that you’ll be able to get the care you need if you get sick without having to worry about enormous medical bills.  You’ll be able to make side-by-side comparisons of the different health insurance plans before you enroll. And you can’t be turned down for coverage even if you have a pre-existing condition, such as heart disease and stroke. Visit our webpage to learn more.

2)      Find coverage you can afford -- Most Americans who gained coverage this year through the Marketplace are paying $100 or less for their plan each month. The majority of people signing up for coverage can get financial help. An individual making up to $47,000 or a family of four with income up to $95,000 a year could qualify for financial help. Use this calculator to see how much financial help you could receive in 2015. If you don’t get covered, you might have to pay a fine.

3)      Sign up – Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace starts November 15 and ends February 15, 2015. If you sign up for coverage by December 15, your coverage will begin January 1. You can visit the Marketplace online at www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 . You can also get help signing up online, in-person, or over the phone. To find local help, visit localhelp.healthcare.gov.

Health insurance coverage is critical to our shared mission to fight heart disease and stroke.  Research has shown that people with insurance not only have greater access to primary care and preventative services, but they are more likely to take their medications properly to control risk factors, call 9-1-1 if they are experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms, and generally have better health outcomes.  And, the more uninsured Americans who get covered, the more affordable premiums will be for all of us.  So, learn about the new coverage options today and help us get the word out to friends, family, and neighbors who need this information, too!

Read More

Progress against heart disease, stroke reflected in latest statistics

New government statistics show a decline in deaths from heart disease and stroke, continuing a promising trend in the fight against two of the nation’s leading causes of death.

The stroke death rate fell 2.6 percent and the heart disease death rate dropped 1.8 percent in 2012, the most current year for which those statistics are available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC report is part of a much larger trend over the years – including a more than 30 percent decline in the death rates for heart disease, stroke and overall cardiovascular diseases from 2000 to 2012.

“This very encouraging trend is what we hoped to see, and we should all feel proud of our contributions to these findings through our lifesaving initiatives at the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association,” said AHA President Elliott Antman, M.D., professor of medicine and associate dean at Harvard Medical School and a senior physician in the Cardiovascular Division of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “We have much work left to do, but we’re heading in the right direction.”

Heart disease remains the nation’s leading cause of death and has been for more than 90 years. Stroke still ranks fourth.

The reductions in deaths, experts say, can be attributed to ongoing efforts to better prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease and stroke, including:

  • fewer people smoking and being exposed to secondhand smoke;
  • improvements in emergency and more routine treatments for heart disease and stroke;
  • scientific research breakthroughs;
  • changes in laws to build healthier environments; and
  • increased awareness about healthy living.

However, despite the substantial progress in heart disease mortality, not everything is going well.  More people than ever are now living with cardiovascular diseases and dealing with risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and unhealthy diets.

In the U.S., 82.6 million people are living with cardiovascular diseases, including the after-effects of heart attacks or strokes.

“Although we’re keeping more people with heart disease or stroke alive, we also need to work harder to prevent these events. And there is much to do to improve the quality of life for all our patients, and those individuals who may avoid being patients, through prevention,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, senior associate dean, chair and professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an AHA volunteer.

The American Heart Association’s 2020 goal addresses this issue by calling for a 20 percent improvement in cardiovascular health, in addition to reducing deaths by 20 percent, by the year 2020.

“We understand what causes 90 percent of heart attacks and strokes and we need to do an even better job at avoiding those risk factors in the first place,” said Lloyd-Jones, a key contributor to the statement outlining the science supporting the 2020 goal.

Read More

Upcoming Event View All

  • Nov
    05
    Little Mended Hearts Webinar

    It's Open Enrollment Time Again: Tips for Choosing Health Insurance

    Most people would rather go to the dentist or the gym than choose a health insurance plan, but this is one of the most important health and financial decisions you make all year. Stephanie Mohl, Senior Government Relations Advisor for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, will go over some of the key factors you need to consider when choosing the best plan for your family's health and budget and share helpful tips and tools. Stephanie will also talk about the new coverage options that may be available to you under the Affordable Care Act. Some of the topics to be covered include: sources of coverage, types of plans, and key information you need to make the best decision.

     

    Tuesday,

    November 5, 2014

    1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST

     

    Register Now!

AHA Video More

Watch You’re the Cure advocates and get the latest AHA advocacy updates.

Advocate Stories View All

Ariel Walker Ohio

At 19, my life was totally normal for a college student.  Eat, sleep, class, repeat.  And then one day, my heart quit beating.  I was giving a final presentation in front of a class full of people when everything went dark.  When I woke up, I was on the floor with a paramedic looking at me.

It took almost 4 years to diagnose what had caused me to pass out.  I was lucky.  I had a mother who had worked in a hospital for 25 years, and a supportive partner who drove me four hours each direction every couple of weeks for tests.  For such a dramatic event, it was extremely difficult to convince doctors that anything was wrong with me.  I passed every test.  Most appointments ended with the explanation that I was probably passing out because I was thin and therefore probably not eating enough. 

However, with my mom’s stubbornness and understanding of the heath care system, I was able to get an appointment with a cardiologist who was willing to send me for a tilt-table test.  I laid strapped flat to a table for an hour and then they flipped me vertically to see what would happen.   As everyone waited to see if I would pass out, the surgeon suggested that if I switched my snacks to salted peanuts and Gatorade, I would probably be fine.  I don’t remember much after that because I did pass out, and my heart stopped beating. 

I had cardio-inhibitory vasovagal syncope and I would need a pacemaker to keep me from passing out in the future.  A million things raced through my mind, the first of which was relief… I finally had a diagnosis.  The second was, would I ever look good in a bikini with a pacemaker implanted in my chest.  A month later, I was in surgery: the only 24 year-old on the cardiology schedule. 

My surgery was not easy.  It was supposed to be less than 24 hours in the hospital and I ended up there for three days.  My body was going into shock every time the pacemaker tried to pace my heart.  I was sent for x-rays in a wheelchair and brought back in a gurney because I kept losing consciousness.  It was terrifying.  Not for me so much, I was just exhausted. But for my family who had to watch helplessly, it was a nightmare. 

What I didn’t realize at the time, and what is impossible to explain to someone who has never been in such a situation, is that I not only became aware of a problem that day, I also lost the ability to trust that my heart would ever beat the way it was supposed to.  We don’t think about our lungs allowing us to breathe or our heart pumping our blood. It just happens.  I can’t explain the sense of loss, or the fear that develops of your own body, but I can encourage people not to take it for granted. 

I am now on my second pacemaker and, although that surgery wasn’t easy either, I live a healthy and active life with my amazing husband and two dogs.  To give back, I also joined the Board of Directors for my local American Heart Association so that I can encourage others to live well and take care of their hearts.  A coronary event can happen to anyone, at any stage of life.  It is important to pay attention to what your body is telling you and seek a doctor’s care whenever your heath circumstances change.  Treat your heart with care and never take it for granted.

Read More