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President Bush Declares February American Heart Month

President Bush has declared February American Heart Month to raise awareness of the impact of cardiovascular disease and encourage citizens to take steps to help prevent it.

In a presidential proclamation signed Friday, Mr. Bush said heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. He urged Americans to work toward decreasing their chances of developing the disease by exercising, following a nutritious diet and monitoring high cholesterol.

In a rare turn, first lady Laura Bush is delivering the weekly presidential radio address Saturday, asking Americans to begin heart-healthy habits. She said it is important citizens learn about the risk factors for the disease, including smoking, lack of exercise, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Mrs. Bush said heart disease affects more than 80 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of death among American women.