The American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day awareness day for women’s #1 killer – heart disease—is coming Friday, February 2nd. Wear red to show your support of survivors of heart disease and stroke. (contributed photo)
Pop quiz, ladies! What’s the number one killer of men AND women? It’s heart disease. Most men know their number one health threat, but far too many women still don’t know this fact, and costing them their lives. The American Heart Association (AHA) wants residents to Go Red on Friday, February 2nd for National Wear Red Day to help shine a light on the number one killer of men and women—heart disease. Companies, community organizations and residents are invited wear red, and get creative to make landmarks, main streets, buildings and homes “Go Red” to kick off February’s American Hearth Month.
“This is such a simple way to make a difference in our community. Every red heart, red ribbon or red dress in a store window reminds women, and all of us, how important our hearts are. Heart health should be our main priority in February and all year long to prevent our number one killer,” said Jennifer Miller, AHA Go Red For Women Director in Westchester-Fairfield.
In addition to landmarks going red, thousands of employees will participate in National Wear Red Day by donating $5 or more to the Go Red For Women campaign. In turn, they will receive a red dress pin or keychain, and lifesaving heart health education. Some organizations will offer heart healthy lunch and learn programs, organize healthy walks, or offer healthier foods in vending machines or cafeterias. To sign up, visit www.wearredday.org or call the AHA at 203-295-2936.
The AHA’s Go Red For Women movement focuses on women’s heart health awareness in February because far too many women are still unaware of the facts that heart disease is their number one killer--killing more women than all forms of cancer combined; or that the symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, causing women to delay seeking treatment; or that ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke. This lack of awareness means that more women than men are dying from heart disease and stroke. Go Red For Women’s goal is to save women’s lives through research and awareness.
The good news is that more than 80% of heart disease events in women can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier, quitting smoking and exercising 30 minutes daily. Know your family health history and your number like cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index or BMI can help women and their healthcare providers determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.
UConn Health shared their photo from Wear Red Day in 2017 with the American Heart Association (contributed photo)
Know the signs of heart attack and get help fast if symptoms are present. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most of them start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Call 9-1-1 if these symptoms are present:
• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
• Shortness of breath. This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
• Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Learn more at www.heart.org/warningsigns.
Women can get lifesaving information at www.goredforwomen.org and join in the healthy lifestyle conversation at https://www.facebook.com/groups/GoRedGetFit/. Share your photos of Wear Red Day with the hashtag #WearRedandGive on social media.
The 15th Annual Westchester-Fairfield Go Red For Women Luncheon set for Friday, June 1st at the Hilton Westchester. Go Red For Women is sponsored Nationally by Macy's and CVS. Greenwich Hospital is the Signature Sponsor. Local sponsors include White Plains Hospital; Morgan Stanley; United Hebrew of New Rochelle, Willow Towers Assisted Living; Fujifilm; Tompkins Mahopac Bank; and Dr. Icilma Fergus. Media sponsors include 100.7 WHUD, Westchester Magazine and Examiner Media.