HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz joined staff from St. Francis Hospital Wednesday to urge others to talk about the dangers of heart disease.

“We want people to know that you are at higher risk of heart disease if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, have a poor diet, you’re a smoker, or you consume a lot of alcohol,” Bysiewicz said.

The Hartford gathering was a part of National Heart Awareness Month efforts. Heart disease is the top cause of death in the nation, making up 700,000 deaths a year. One in every five deaths will be from heart disease.

Experts recommend reducing the risk of heart disease by exercising, keeping to a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, cutting back on alcohol and quitting smoking.