In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the most common form of death—more than 850,000 each year, more than cancer and chronic lung disease combined. One in 10 American adults suffer from some form of heart disease, and it’s the number one cause of death in women.
The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening this situation, in part because fewer patients are seeking care for heart-related problems, with out-of-hospital cardiac arrests more than doubling from 2019-2020. This February, as we mark American Heart Month, Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) is educating the public about the risk of heart disease, how to keep your heart healthy and bolster public confidence in the safety of hospitals, especially when heart attack symptoms present. And importantly reminding patients to seek care when they need it, and not to postpone it.
“Hospitals are safe and prepared to accept emergency patients, while keeping them protected,” said Mark A. Creager, MD, director of the Heart & Vascular Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and former president of the American Heart Association. “While COVID-19 may have changed the look and feel for some of our annual American Heart Month events, we are focused now more than ever on sharing important information to keep the public healthy.”
About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH), New Hampshire’s only academic health system and the state’s largest private employer, serves a population of 1.9 million across northern New England. D-HH provides access to more than 2,000 providers in almost every area of medicine, delivering care at its flagship hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, NH. DHMC was named again in 2020 as the #1 hospital in New Hampshire by U.S. News & World Report, and recognized for high performance in 9 clinical specialties and procedures. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health includes the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation; Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only children’s hospital; member hospitals in Lebanon, Keene, and New London, NH, and Windsor, VT, and Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire; and 24 Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinics that provide ambulatory services across New Hampshire and Vermont. The D-HH system trains nearly 400 residents and fellows annually, and performs world-class research, in partnership with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.