Heart disease is the major cause of death in the United States, killing over 375,000 people a year. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The most common type of heart disease in America is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. According to the 2015 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update compiled annually by the American Heart Association (AHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other government sources, heart disease strikes someone in the U.S. about once every 43 seconds.

February is American Heart Month

Since 1963, the entire month of February has been observed as American Heart Month to urge Americans to join the battle against heart disease. This year, the AHA’s nationwide campaign this month is focused on raising awareness and preventing cardiovascular disease. The AHA’s Go Red campaign will strive to educate women on the silent symptoms of heart attacks, as well as how their symptoms are different from those experienced by men among other things.

National Wear Red Day is on Feb. 6, 2015 and the AHA urges the public to make a change on by wearing Red on that day to show support for saving women’s lives. They also call upon people to Go Red on their social media profiles using #GoRed and donate to help raise funds for awareness and research.

The FDA recently approved PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2, a new blood test that predicts a patient’s risk of future coronary heart disease (CHD) events such as heart attacks. According to an American College of Cardiology report, the PLAC Test for Lp-PLA2 Activity is cleared for use in all adults without a history of heart disease, the FDA stated that studies have shown that the test is more accurate at determining CHD risk in women, especially black women.

Measuring heart disease in point-of-care settings is now easy with B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) test. The Alere Triage® BNP Test for use on the Beckman Coulter® Immunoassay System is the first rapid BNP immunoassay indicated for risk stratification for both acute coronary syndrome and heart failure.