Don’t worry if you see red this Friday, Feb. 5; you don’t have an anger issue.
Feb. 5 is National Wear Red Day,® part of an effort by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to promote health awareness for women.
Many people are aware that heart disease, whether in the form of an attack or a stroke, is the number-one killer of men. But fewer of us know that heart disease is also the number-one killer of women.
Although heart disease is responsible for nearly one in every four deaths of American women each year, apparently, some women still do not make the connection between heart disease and personal risk factors, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. More education is needed, given the life-threatening nature of the condition.
The information provided by WomenHeart, The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, is sobering:
- More than 41 million women are currently living with heart disease.
- One in 4 women dies of cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke).
- Each year, five times as many women die from heart attacks as from breast cancer—approximately 213,000 women.
- Certain factors, including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and ethnicity, increase the risk of heart disease for individual women.
What can you do? First, you can educate yourself. Once aware of the risks, share your knowledge with the women you know. You can also promote heart-healthy habits and make yourself an example for others to follow.
We owe it to our families to learn how to care for our hearts. But we also have an obligation to spread the word to our friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and granddaughters. Heart disease hurts the patient, but it also hurts everyone who loves the patient. As a sister, mother, and grandmother, I’m going to do my part. What about you?
® National Wear Red Day is a registered trademark of HHS and AHA.