February 7, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)
We associate February with red hearts and Valentine’s Day. Celebrating with the one you love with flowers, candy and cards is fun; but February has another more serious type of heart related day to consider. February is American Hearth Month and on February 7th the American Heart Association celebrates National Wear Red Day to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease in women. Heart Disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
Many women think that heart disease affects men more and that breast cancer is the number one killer for women. But, heart disease kills one in three women. This equates to approximately one death per minute.
Heart disease can affect you at any age. Taking birth control and smoking puts you at even higher risk. But you work out, run, do yoga, you must be healthy and immune from heart disease, right? Nope, being physically fit helps, but you may still have high cholesterol, poor eating habits or be a smoker. All of these factors put even active, fit women at risk. In fact, 64% of women die suddenly of a heart attack and don’t even have symptoms. Oddly, chest pain is usually not the sign for a heart attack in women. Usually heart attack symptoms in women include shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Other warning signs are dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness and pain in the lower chest and abdomen and extreme fatigue.
If you’re a women and have any of the following: diabetes, are overweight, are stressed out, have high cholesterol, are inactive, have high blood pressure or smoke, you are at risk. But the good news is you can help prevent heart disease by making some changes in your life. The American Heart Association’s website for this month long event is www.goredforwomen.org. It’s full of great tips and suggestions from losing weight and exercise to eating healthy. You can also get involved by wearing red, donating or educating your friends and family to help raise awareness in the fight against heart disease.