Heart disease and stroke kills one in three women, and the part that should instantly grab your attention is that it’s 80% preventable. Today is National Wear Red Day, when everyone should show their support for women’s heart healthy be wearing something red – a ribbon pin, a red shirt, red shoes, even red socks. Of course, it’s the red dress that has become the symbol of not only women’s strength, but women’s heart health.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers and statistics of National Wear Red Day from GoRedForWomen.org:
Since the first National Wear Red Day in 2003, we’ve made tremendous strides in the fight against heart disease and stroke in women. Through research and education to healthy lifestyle changes, we’re proud that:
- Nearly 90% have made at least one healthy behavior change.
- More than one-third has lost weight.
- More than 50% have increased their exercise.
- 6 out of 10 have changed their diets.
- More than 40% have checked their cholesterol levels.
- One third has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
- Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day
- Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.
Women and Heart Disease
Why are women more likely to die from heart disease? Why are women less likely to be diagnosed with heart disease? And how is it possible that 80% of heart disease and stroke in women is preventable? These are the questions that you, as someone who is concerned about your heart health and the heart health of your family, should be asking. How can a disease that is 80% preventable be taking one out of every three mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and grandmas? It just doesn’t seem possible.
Myth: Heart Disease is a man’s disease.
Truth: More women pass away from heart disease than men. Heart disease is the single, leading cause of death in women over 40. Heart disease actually blows breast cancer out of the water. One in 31 women die from breast cancer, whereas one in three women will pass due to heart disease.
Myth: Heart disease is for older individuals only.
Truth: According to GoRedForWomen.org, for younger women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking boosts heart disease risks by 20 percent. Heart disease can impact anyone at any age.
Myth: Heart disease symptoms are similar for men and women.
Truth: This is one of the biggest misconceptions about heart disease and women, and although awareness is improving regarding the symptoms. Women’s symptoms of heart disease are varied and can even be personalized to each individual, whereas heart disease symptoms for men are fairly consistent. This can be a major factor in why diagnosis of heart disease in women can be difficult for many physicians.
Myth: “I don’t have any symptoms.”
Truth: According to GoRedForWomen.org, 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. Because these symptoms vary greatly between men and women, they’re often misunderstood. Women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Other symptoms women should look out for are dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and extreme fatigue.
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