About The American Heart Association

Updated:Jun 1,2017

About the American Heart Association 

Who We Are

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, our organization now includes more than 30 million volunteers and supporters. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide. Stroke ranks second globally and is a leading cause of severe disability. Some form of cardiovascular disease affects more than one in every three adult Americans. Many are seriously burdened by disabilities. To fight these diseases, we fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives. Our nationwide organization includes 146 local offices and more than 3,400 employees, with our national headquarters in Dallas. The American Stroke Association is a division that brings together the organization’s stroke-related activities.

What We Do

We are working toward improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, and reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020. We provide public health education in a variety of ways. We’re the nation’s leader in CPR education and training. We help people understand the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. We provide science-based treatment guidelines for healthcare professionals to help them give quality care to their patients. We educate lawmakers, policymakers and the public as we advocate for changes to protect and improve the health of our communities. Our volunteer experts select the scientific research most worthy of funding — with great results. We have invested more than $4 billion in research, more than any organization outside the federal government. We have funded 13 Nobel Prize winners and many lifesaving research advances such as the first artificial heart valve, cholesterol-lowering drugs, heart transplantation, and CPR techniques.

What You Can Do

The American Heart Association wants everyone to know that cardiovascular diseases and stroke are largely preventable. Risks can be lowered by adhering to what we call Life’s Simple 7: not smoking, being physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, controlling blood pressure, controlling cholesterol and controlling blood sugar. To assess your cardiovascular health, visit MyLifeCheck.org and answer a few questions. For more information, visit heart.org or call 1-800-AHA-USA1.