Behind All The Red: National Wear Red Day Shines Spotlight On Heart Health In Women

For the last 14 years, everyone from celebrities to news anchors have been sporting red on the first Friday in February. National Wear Red Day was created by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to raise awareness about heart disease in women. But why women?

Heart Disease is the number one killer in women, taking a life about every minute. But the American Heart Association found that many were unaware of the problem.

“One in three women are dying of heart disease yet only one in five women knew that heart disease was our number one health risk,” said American Heart Association Communications Director Chrissy Meyer.

The Association says National Wear Red Day is to educate women in particular because their symptoms are more subtle than in men.

“Chest pain is kind of a universal sign, but in women sometimes we’ll see things like nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, vomiting, but it could be something as subtle as neck or jaw pain,” said Meyer.

The Association say 64 percent of women who have suddenly died from heart disease have showed no symptoms.

“You know your body better than anybody and if something just doesn’t seem right get it checked out, go to your doctor,” Meyer said.

But the good new is heart disease and stroke are 80 percent preventable with action. They say little changes can go a long way.

Meyer said, “We know by that making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, getting a little bit more exercise, eating a little bit healthier diet, you can make significant changes to really put yourself on the right path.”

The American Heart Association recommends that women know their family history and keep track of your Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index. Those can help you figure out if you have a greater risk for heart disease.

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