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Your Choice for Change - Honoring the Gift of Heart Health for American Indians

National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
And Office of Research on Minority Health



American Indians and Heart Disease

Heart disease is a serious health problem for all Americans, including American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). Although it is the #1 killer of Americans, including AI/AN, most people are not aware that they are at risk for heart disease. Most people believe that a heart attack or stroke happens suddenly because of a scary experience, getting bad news, or having strong feelings like anger. A heart attack or stroke may seem sudden, but the truth is that these conditions develop over many years. It often starts at a very young age.

Risk Factors

High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, and diabetes can increase the risk for heart disease.

You can reduce your risk by making lifestyle changes. All you need is a little information, a few skills, and a bit of motivation.

Easy-To-Read Booklet

This easy-to-read booklet is filled with practical information that can help you reduce your risk for heart disease. You will be introduced to the Wisdom family, who will share what they did to prevent and control their risk factors. Join them and take steps to prevent heart disease in your family.

Hope for a Healthy Future

Taking steps to prevent heart disease at any age is important. Caring for your heart is one of the most important things you can do for your health and the health of your family. When you choose an apple instead of pie, or take a walk instead of watching TV, you are being a role model for others. Here is more good news! There are many healthy things you can do to become healthier. Being healthier means lessening your chances of having heart problems. Future generations are counting on you.

Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6340
June 2008