The American Heart Association ( AHA ) is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. Originally formed in New York City in 1924 as the Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease ,  it is currently headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency.
They are known for publishing standards on basic life support and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), and in 2014 issued its first guidelines for preventing strokes in women.  They are known also for operating a number of highly visible public service campaigns starting in the 1970s, and also operate a number of fundraising events. In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy , an industry publication, released a study that showed the American Heart Association was ranked as the 5th "most popular charity/non-profit in America." John Warner, M.D., MBA is president of the American Heart Association for its 2017–18 fiscal year. 
1915–1980s: Founding and early years
The American Heart Association grew out of a set of smaller precursor groups. The primary precursor was the Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease, formed in New York City in 1915, to study whether patients with heart disease could safely return to work. Several similar organizations formed or evolved in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago in the 1920s. Recognizing the need for a national organization to share research and promote findings, the American Heart Association was formed in 1924 by six cardiologists representing several of these precursor groups. 
The AHA remained small until the 1940s when it was selected for support by Procter & Gamble, via their PR firm, from a list of applicant charities. Procter & Gamble gave $1.5 million from its radio show, Truth or Consequences , allowing the organization to go national. 
Recommendations regarding limiting saturated fats and cholesterol emerged from a series of scientific studies in the 1950s, and related American Heart Association dietary guidelines emerged between 1957 and 1961. The 1957 AHA report included: (1) Diet may play an important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, (2) The fat content and total calories in the diet are probably important factors, (3) The ratio between saturated and unsaturated fat may be the basic determinant, and (4) A wide variety of other factors beside fat, both dietary and non-dietary, may be important. By 1961, these finding had been strengthened, leading to the new 1961 AHA recommendations: (1) Maintain a correct body weight, (2) Engage in moderate exercise, e.g., walking to aid in weight reduction, (3) Reduce intake of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Increase intake of polyunsaturated fat, (4) Men with a strong family history of atherosclerosis should pay particular attention to diet modification, and (5) Dietary changes should be carried out under medical supervision. These recommendations continued to become more precise from 1957 to 1980, but maintained "a general coherence among them". 
1990s–2000s: Awareness campaigns
In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy , an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility. The study showed that the American Heart Association was ranked as the 5th "most popular charity/non-profit in America" of over 100 charities researched with 95% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing Love and Like A lot description category for the American Heart Association.
On October 28, 2009 The American Heart Association and the Ad Council launched a hands-only CPR public service announcement and website.  On November 30, 2009, The American Heart Association announced a new cardiac arrest awareness campaign called Be the Beat.  The campaign's aim is to teach 12- to 15-year-olds fun ways to learn the basics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use an automated external defibrillator.
In 2010 the AHA launched the "Go Red for Women" campaign. Historically men have been the primary subjects of heart disease and stroke research. "Go Red for Women" specifically targets women with information about risks and action they can take to protect their health. All revenues from the local and national campaigns goes to support awareness, research, education and community programs to benefit women. 
2012–15: Recent events and activities
It also carried out a campaign in 2012 to educate more people on how to carry out hands-only CPR.    The 2012 campaign, which began in New York City, had Jennifer Coolidge as the spokesperson. 
In 2012, singer-songwriter and actress Michelle Williams became an ambassador for the Power to End Stroke campaign. In speaking of her role she said "I am honored to partner with the campaign […] My father had a stroke in 2005 due to smoking, diabetes and an unhealthy diet, and my grandmother was diagnosed with having a stroke in 2006 when she went to her doctor for a simple outpatient procedure. I am bringing awareness to people so that strokes can be prevented. Let's take care of ourselves…the first step is knowledge about your health." 
In 2014, the American Heart Association issued its first guidelines for preventing strokes in women. 
- Elliott Antman, M.D., is president of the American Heart Association for its 2014–15 fiscal year. As president, Antman is chief volunteer scientific and medical officer, responsible for medical, scientific and public health matters. He is a professor of medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical/Translational Research at Harvard Medical School and a senior physician in the Cardiovascular Division of the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
- Melania Trump was the Chairwoman for The American Heart Association in 2010. 
- In 2012, singer-songwriter and actress Michelle Williams became an ambassador for the Power to End Stroke campaign. 
- Shahbudin Rahimtoola Chairman, Council on Clinical Cardiology
- Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
- Circulation Research
- Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease