With Every Heartbeat Is Life
A Community Health Worker's Manual for African Americans


Dear Community Health Worker:

You are important to us. We need your help to deliver lifesaving information to African Americans. Sadly, too many African Americans die of cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly heart disease and stroke. Among African Americans, heart disease is the #1 killer, and stroke is the #3 leading cause of death. About 1 in 4 African American men and women dies of heart disease, and about 1 in 19 African American men and 1 in 13 African American women die of stroke.

The good news is that we already know a lot about what to do to prevent heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, smoking, not being physically active, and diabetes are all factors that increase a person's risk of heart disease and stroke. African Americans can lower their risk of heart disease and stroke by making healthy lifestyle changes, getting their risk factors checked, and seeing health care providers and following their advice if risk levels are elevated. Community health workers like you can help. The With Every Heartbeat Is Life project can guide you as you begin this journey.

"With Every Heartbeat Is Life: A Community Health Worker's Manual for African Americans" is a heart health manual created especially for African American communities by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). You will notice that cultural adaptations are used to make the manual more appealing and relevant to African American communities.

The "With Every Heartbeat Is Life" manual provides all the information you need to put a heart health project into action in your community. Taught by trained community health workers, the manual helps people build skills to make practical, lasting changes to help fight heart disease. The manual can be used to train community health workers, to teach members of the African American community, and to serve as the basis for other community activities.

"With Every Heartbeat Is Life" is dedicated to community health workers like you who devote time and energy to help others improve their health and live longer. Thank you for making a difference.

Much success,

Gregory J. Morosco, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Division for the Application of Research Discoveries
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health

Nationa Heart Liung and Blood Institute
People Science Health

NIH Publication No. 08-5844
October 2007

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Logo, National Institutes of Health Logo and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Logo

Last Updated December 2010

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