Wear Red, support women’s heart health



The American Heart Association has designated the first Friday in February as National Wear Red Day.

The day is designed to raise awareness about women’s heart health with the goal being “the eradication of heart disease and stroke,’' according to the American Heart Association’s website.

The campaign encourages women to make a commitment to take charge of their health.

In addition to encouraging everyone to wear red and communities to highlight red on local landmarks, the AHA is also seeking to raise $3 million for research.

The association has partnered with Big Lots on that financial project.

Big Lots Foundation is asking customers to donate to the AHA through Feb. 20. Additionally, on National Wear Red Day, the foundation is matching donations made at the American Heart Association’s goredforwomen website up to $333,3333.

“We want red to be prominent in our stores,” said Joice Wirkus, Big Lots senior vice president of marketing and member of the Go Red for Women National Leadership Council. “We want people to know there’s something special going on, so when they get to the register, they’ll want to join the cause.”

10 facts about women and cardiovascular disease:

  • Cardiovascular disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined and yet only 44% of women recognize that cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat.
  • Among females 20 years and older, nearly 45% are living with some form of cardiovascular disease and less than 50% of women entering pregnancy in the United States have good heart health.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms and accounts for over on-third of maternal deaths. Black women have some of the highest maternal mortality rates.
  • Overall, 10% to 20% of women will have a health issue during pregnancy, and high blood pressure, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes during pregnancy greatly increase a women’s risk for developing cardiovascular disease later in life.
  • Going through menopause does not cause cardiovascular disease, but the approach of menopause marks a point in midlife when women’s cardiovascular risk factors can accelerate, making increased focus on health during this pivotal life stage is crucial.
  • Most cardiac and stroke events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes, such as moving more, eating smart and managing blood pressure.
  • 51.9% of high blood pressure deaths, otherwise known as hypertension or the “silent killer,” are in women, and out of all women, 57.6% of Black females have hypertension — more than any other race or ethnicity.
  • While there are an estimated 4.1 million female stroke survivors living today, approximately 57.5% of total stroke deaths are in women.
  • Women are often less likely to receive bystander CPR because rescuers often fear accusations of inappropriate touching, sexual assault or injuring the victim.
  • Women continue to be underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, as well as in research. In fact, women occupy nearly half of all U.S. jobs (48%), but only 27% of jobs in STEM fields. Furthermore, only 38% of participants in clinical cardiovascular trials are women.

Source: American Heart Association

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