Are you at risk for heart disease? African American men, particularly those who live in the southeast, have the highest risk for this disease. Additionally, the American Heart Association reports that the prevalence of high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, in African Americans is the highest in the world. American Heart Month, which takes place in February each year, is a great time to consider becoming a cardiovascular technologist or technician to help address disparities in health care that contribute to such trends.
Since Lyndon B. Johnson signed the federal proclamation starting American Heart Month in 1964, deaths from cardiovascular diseases has dropped by almost 1 million per year. In 2014, President Barack Obama signed the 50th annual proclamation encouraging everyone to make their health a priority.
Programs like Million Hearts and Let’s Move have helped younger generations learn about healthy choices, and National Wear Red Day (Feb 3rd) celebrates women’s heart health each year. Support by the American Heart Association has increased awareness, education and medical research funding, in hopes that deaths by heart disease will continue to decrease.
If promoting heart health interests you, there are several career paths you could take. For one, you could consider becoming a cardiovascular technologist or technician. With a few years of higher education and a great job outlook, these technicians help physicians diagnose and treat cardiac and vascular problems. There are several areas to specialize in including invasive cardiology, cardiac sonography and vascular technology/sonography. Becoming a cardiovascular technologist or technician is a great way to get started on your health career ladder.