About the American Heart Association & American Stroke Association
Who We Are: The American Heart Association & American Stroke Association is the nation’s oldest, largest voluntary organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, our organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters working tirelessly to eliminate these diseases. We fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to save and improve lives.
Our nationwide organization includes 144 local offices and nearly 2,700 employees. We moved our national headquarters from New York to Dallas in 1975 to be more centrally located. The American Stroke Association was created as a division in 1997 to bring together the organization’s stroke-related activities.
Our Mission: To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Our mission drives everything we do.
What We Do: To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide public health education in a variety of ways.
We’re the nation’s leader in CPR education training. We help people understand the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. We provide science-based treatment guidelines to healthcare professionals to help ensure the best treatment for every patient, every time. We educate lawmakers, policy makers and the public as we advocate for changes to protect and improve the health of our communities.
Our volunteer experts select scientific research most worthy of funding – with great results. We have funded more than $3.5 billion in research since 1949, more than any organization outside the federal government. We have funded 13 Nobel Prize winners and lifesaving advancements such as the first artificial heart valve, cholesterol-inhibiting drugs, heart transplant capabilities, and CPR techniques and guidelines.
Why We’re Needed: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans. Stroke ranks fourth and is a leading cause of severe adult disability.
Each year, these diseases kill more than 811,000 Americans, which is roughly the same as the entire population of El Paso, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; or Tacoma, Wash.
Some form of cardiovascular disease affects more than one in every three adult Americans. Many suffer terribly from disabilities caused by these diseases.
The American Heart Association & American Stroke Association wants everyone to understand the threat – and to know that cardiovascular diseases are largely preventable. Risks can be lowered by adhering to what we call Life’s Simple 7: not smoking, being physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, controlling blood pressure, controlling cholesterol and controlling blood sugar.
Our 2020 Goal: We are working toward improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, and reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020.
Our programs, educational resources and advocacy initiatives are all targeted at helping people identify and adopt healthier lifestyles.
To assess your cardiovascular health, all you need to do is visit MyLifeCheck.org and answer a few questions. You will learn about modest changes that could make major differences.
For more information, visit heart.org or call 1-800-AHA-USA1.