Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 105 Part 3.djvu/605

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PROCLAMATION 6247—FEB. 7, 1991 105 STAT. 2489 claim the lives of nearly 1 million Americans every year—one American approximately every 32 seconds. Nearly 68 million Americans currently suffer from one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, and stroke. Contrary to widely held assumptions, heart disease does not occur primarily in old age; studies show that 5 percent of all heart attacks occur in people yoimger than age 40 and more than 45 percent occur in people yoimger than age 65. Women as well as men are at risk. Heart attack is the number one killer of American women, surpassing even breast cancer and lung cancer. Almost half of the more than 500,000 persons who die each year of heart attack are women. While statistics tell us much about the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the United States, they cannot measure the pain and suffering endured by victims and their families. Heart attack and other forms of heart and blood vessel disease also inflict a heavy toll on our Nation in terms of health care costs and lost productivity. The annual costs of related medical services and lost work due to disability total in the billions of dollars. Since 1948, the Federal Government, through the National Heart, Lmig, and Blood Institute, and the American Heart Association, a private nonprofit organization, have spent millions of dollars on educational programs and research into cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association estimates that it has invested more than $900 million in research since it became a national voluntary health organization in the late 1940s. That great investment has been made possible by the generosity of the American people and the dedicated efforts of more than 3 million volunteers. During American Heart Month we recognize the importance of such ongoing efforts in the public and private sectors. We also reaffirm our conunitment to overcoming cardiovascular disease. The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved December 30, 1963 \J7 Stat. 843; 36 U.S.C. 169b), has requested tiiat the President issue an annual proclamation designating February as "American Heart Month." NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of February 1991 as American Heart Month. I invite the Governors of the States, the Conunonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in reaffirming our commitment to combating cardiovascular diseases and stroke. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety- one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth. GEORGE BUSH