This month (February) is "National Heart Month," & the Center for Disease Control & Prevention is leading National Heart Month in an effort to prevent ONE MILLION heart attacks & strokes in the U.S. by 2017! Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease & stroke. High blood pressure often doesn't show signs or symptoms, making it of the utmost importance to get your blood pressure checked regularly. It goes without saying that smoking increases one's risk for poor heart health. Excess sodium intake can also raise your blood pressure. Researchers are interested in the role vitamin D plays in heart health. In a groundbreaking study, research suggests that low vitamin D status causes increased blood pressure. Researchers have concluded that vitamin D can be classified as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As for stroke...a large study found that stroke patients with high vitamin D levels experienced improved outcomes compared to patients with low vitamin D. Levels. February IS National Heart Month. Be aware!