February is American Heart Month: Friday is Nat’l Wear Red Day

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February is American Heart Month and Fri., February 6, 2015
is National Wear Red Day – a day when Americans take women’s health to heart by wearing red to show their support for women’s heart disease awareness.

Everyone can participate in the national movement by wearing their favorite red dress, shirt, tie or Red Dress Pin on Friday, February 6, 2015.

By joining together and wearing red, the community will help to bring attention to this serious women’s health issue and motivate women to take action to live longer, healthier lives. Caroline Calderone Baisley, the Director of Health stated: “Many women think heart disease is a man’s disease. It isn’t. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Most women fail to make the connections between heart disease risk factors and their personal risk of developing the disease.” To support the need to take control of one’s health, public health nurses of the Division of Family Health will offer blood pressure screenings on Friday, February 6, 2015 from 10:00am until 1:00pm in the Town Hall lobby and from 2:30 – 3:30 pm in the Division of Family Health located on the 3rd Town Hall.

Red dress pins, information about risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight/obesity, diabetes and lack of physical activity) and handouts about healthy nutrition will also be distributed.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women and claims more women’s lives than all forms of cancer.

Each year 422,000 women die of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease in the United States. Usually referred to as simply “heart disease,” it is a disorder of blood vessels of the heart that can lead to a heart attack.

Following a heart attack, one in four women will die within the first year. These conditions are also leading causes of disability preventing people from working and enjoying family activities.

A woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds in the United States. Knowing the signs and symptoms is crucial to ensure quick treatment and the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. The warning signs for women can be different from those experienced by men. Many women who have a heart attack may not experience direct chest pain, but rather chest discomfort, which includes the feeling of pressure, squeezing or fullness. Although pain can occur in the chest, pain can also appear in the right arm, back, neck, shoulder or throat. Other symptoms might include vomiting, nausea, pressure, fatigue, shortness of breath, feeling cold, sweating or lightheadedness. If you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack, act quickly to prevent disability or death and call 9-1-1.

“Although 80% of middle age women have one or more risk factors that lead to heart disease, millions still do not take ownership of their heart health” said Deborah Travers, the Director of Family Health.

Ms. Travers invites all of Greenwich to Go Red for Women. “Know your risk, live healthy, get involved and Wear Red!”

Adapting a healthy diet and controlling disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol will give you valuable tools to fight heart disease. Women should talk to their doctors about these risk factors and make lifestyle changes when necessary to prevent disease.

The American Heart Association sponsors national Wear Red Day. For more information about Women’s Heart Health and National Wear Red Day, call 203-622-6495 at the Greenwich Department of  Health or go to Go Red for Women.

Additional Resources:

American Heart Association
National Women’s Health Information Center
The Heart Truth: National Awareness Campaign for Women about Heart Disease