Today, is National Wear Red Day! I’m wearing red to show that I am fighting heart disease, which is the number one killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer. Additionally, I decided that I would wear my red dress pin during the entire month of February to highlight the importance of heart health. In August 2013, I received a surprise package from the American Heart Association, which included two lapel pins. Those two new pins brought my red dress pin total to four! In fact, I have one of the original red dress pins from 2004. I’ve been on the bandwagon for quite some time.
In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women. Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women. ~ American Heart Association website
As you know about me, the perfect storm of events caused me to start taking my health seriously. Before my husband and I joined Planet Fitness in early April 2012, I lived a sedentary life. I practice law during the day. So, I am either sitting in my office reading and typing or sitting in court waiting for my cases to be heard. Before I joined a gym, during the evening, I would usually crochet something to sell in my online boutique, Interwoven Creations by Crystal. I was taking medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, I had FOUR of the risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and physical inactivity. No bueno. Participating in the Woman’s Day Live Longer and Stronger Challenge helped me to increase my HDL (good) numbers for my cholesterol. As a shortcut, I remember it as “H” in HDL for Healthy and “L” in LDL as Lethal. We want our LDL numbers to be low. Here are some facts about heart disease in women from the American Heart Association:
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
- The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men, and are often misunderstood.
- While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.
- Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
- Women comprise only 24 percent of participants in all heart-related studies.
- Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
- Only 1 in 3 Hispanic women are aware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer.
- Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
- Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.
- Hispanic women are more likely to take preventive actions for their family when it comes to heart health.
African American women
- Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for African American women.
- Of African American women ages 20 and older, 46.9 percent have cardiovascular disease
- Only 1 in 5 African American women thinks she is personally at risk.
- Nearly 50 percent of African American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
- Only 43 percent of African American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.
These statistics represent only a fraction of the 2012 report featured in Circulation. To view the full findings, download a copy of the Heart Disease and Stroke 2012 Statistical Update.
Be informed about heart disease. Know your risk. Wear red. Fight the good fight. Please share your plans for National Wear Red Day and fighting heart disease. You can leave a comment at the end of this post or on the Facebook fan page, Tweet me, or complete the form on the Contact page. Be blessed. Remain encouraged.