About the American Heart Association
Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent.
In 1999 the American Heart Association set a bold 10-year goal: To reduce coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent by 2010. We achieved the reduction in deaths ahead of schedule and made substantial progress against three of the six risk factors. Because of this success, the Board of Directors approved a 2020 Impact Goal. This new goal looks beyond helping people reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by focusing on helping them build stronger health and a better quality of life.
We have an extraordinary impact through our wide range of lifesaving activities. Here’s how:
- Improving patient care — We’re improving the quality of health care by creating best practices for treating heart disease and stroke. Our Get With The Guidelines hospital-based quality improvement program helps heart and stroke patients get the best treatment consistently. Mission: Lifeline helps patients with the most severe kind of heart attack get the specialized emergency services they need to survive.
- Advocating for better health — Our nationwide volunteer network, You’re The Cure, advocates for key issues at the national, state and local levels such as requiring physical education in schools, clean air legislation and making AEDs mandatory in public buildings.
- Reaching out to populations at risk — Blacks have higher risk and higher death rates from stroke than whites. Our Power To End Stroke education/awareness initiative helps African Americans share information to reduce their risk of stroke. More than 23,000 key opinion leaders, including mayors, professors, ministers and celebrities, have been recruited to be ambassadors working within their own community.
- Raising awareness — Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women over age 25, but many women don’t make their own health a priority. Through Go Red For Women, we’re raising awareness among women about their risks and empowering them to protect their heart health.
- Protecting the future — Nearly one in three children and teens in the United States is overweight or obese. As a result, more kids than ever before are developing high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. We are helping kids develop lifelong healthy habits and working to make sure that today’s children can grow up to be tomorrow’s healthy adults.
- Educating Americans — We save lives every day by offering information and education. We pioneered CPR and millions of Americans use our patient education materials and online tools to help themselves and their loved ones live longer, healthier lives.