Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Heart Foundation’s mission?

The Heart Foundation’s mission is to save lives by increasing awareness of America’s #1 killer—heart disease by promoting education, early detection, and prevention. We understand that when it comes to our health, there is only so much that we can control. That’s why we believe that you are never too young, and it’s never too late to start living with your heart health in mind. We support innovative research taking place at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai under the direction of world-renowned cardiologist Dr. P.K. Shah.

When was The Heart Foundation founded?

The Heart Foundation was created in 1996 under a different name—The Steven S. Cohen Heart Fund. After many years of passion and growth, we became The Heart Foundation in 2004.

Why was The Heart Foundation created?

The Heart Foundation was created after the sudden passing of 35-year-old Steve Cohen. Steve had a wife and 2 daughters. He had recently received a clean bill of health at his annual check-up. Steve exercised regularly, didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, and wasn’t overweight. He was playing basketball with a group of friends when he experienced a fatal heart attack. The Heart Foundation was created by Steve’s friends, family, and community to help prevent other families from experiencing the same loss.

I’d love to help! How can I get involved?

You can show your support by donating, creating a tribute page, holding a fundraiser, by attending an event, or even by buying wine!
Click the link below to learn more about ways that you can support our fight against heart disease including our partnership with ONEHOPE Wines!
https://theheartfoundation.org/get-involved/

What is The Steven S. Cohen Humanitarian Award?

The Steven S. Cohen Humanitarian Award is given to individuals whose lives embody personal and professional integrity, generosity, and strength. They are quintessential examples of the philanthropic spirit this award was created to honor. Past recipients include:

Mike Meldman
Dr. P.K. & Kimberly Shah
Kirk & Anne Douglas
Norman Brokaw
Wolfgang Puck
Berry Gordy
Marshall Ezralow

Can I connect with The Heart Foundation on social media?

You sure can! We are present on multiple social media platforms and we would love to connect with you!
Instagram- @theheartfoundation
YouTube- HeartFoundationUSA
Twitter- @TheHeartFdn
Facebook- @TheHeartFoundation

Don’t forget to check out The Heart Beat Blog! Our very own blog page that discusses everything from heart disease basics to new information.

I still have questions. Who can I ask?

We want to hear from you! You can connect with us and send any questions to: info@theheartfoundation.org

What is heart disease?

The label “heart disease” covers a wide umbrella of conditions that may impair the function of the heart. Many forms of heart disease are related to a process called atherosclerosis which occurs when there is a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Check out our infographic on the 4 different types of heart disease.

What are symptoms of heart disease?

Symptoms may vary depending on age, gender, and health history. Some symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, or ankles
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Easily tiring during exercise or activity
What are the risk factors of heart disease?

Heart disease does not discriminate. It can affect anyone at any time regardless of age, gender, and health history. The following traits increase a person’s risk of having heart disease:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High cholesterol
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Overweight/obese
  • Poor eating habits
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • High stress lifestyle
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Recreational drug use
  • Elderly

One way to keep your heart health is to keep your blood pressure in check! Use our blood pressure guide to see how you’re doing!

How common is heart disease?

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Heart disease accounts for 1 in 4 deaths. Every 40 seconds, and American has a heart attack. 48% of adult Americans suffer from some type of cardiovascular disease.

What are the symptoms of a heart attack?

Most heart attacks start mild and build in intensity over a few minutes. Here are some signs that you want to be aware of:

  • Chest pain/discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the jaw, neck, and/or arms
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • *FACT

Many women report experiencing symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, heart burn, abdominal pain, and fatigue with NO SIGNS of chest pain.

To learn more about the signs of a heart attack and what to do when they arise, read our blog post “Heart Attack Symptoms and What To Do”:

https://theheartfoundation.org/2019/06/03/back-to-basics-heart-attack-symptoms-what-to-do/

Is heart disease preventable?

Some heart complications cannot be avoided. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle may dramatically decrease your risk of heart disease.

  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Try subbing in plant protein for meat
  • Watch your sodium intake
  • Drink more water!
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Reduce your stress level
  • Quit smoking

Click here to download our heart health accountability tracker:

https://theheartfoundation.org/heart-health-accountability-tracker/