Do you know the #No. 1 killer of women in the United States?
It’s heart disease.
Heart disease killed almost 290,000 women in 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That makes heart disease responsible for about 1 in 4 female deaths. By way of comparison, breast cancer, the No. 2 killer of women, claims about 40,000 lives a year.
In the United States alone, 44 million women are affected by cardiovascular disease. Common heart diseases include coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, cardiac arrest and stroke. Treatments vary depending upon the type and stage of heart disease, with many options and hope for healing.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease. Having no symptoms does not mean a woman is not at risk; nearly two-thirds of women who die from CHD did not report prior symptoms.
With so many women affected – mothers, daughters, friends – it’s imperative to learn the truth about heart disease and stroke. Even though heart disease takes such a heavy toll, most women still don't realize how prevalent it is. The American Heart Association’s annual Go Red for Women campaign is meant to raise awareness and offer hope and resources to improve women's cardiovascular health.
Each year, thousands of supporters #GoWearRed in February to show their support for the cause, raise awareness and bring education into the limelight. In the spirit of #GoWearRed, women are encouraged to get screenings, seek counseling, complete questionnaires and attend educational events to learn about their personal cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index and to decrease their risk of heart disease.
The American Heart Association says 80 percent of heart disease and stroke events can be prevented by changes in lifestyle, including exercise, better diet and reduced stress. More severe cases of heart disease may require additional treatments, such as medication, surgery or stents for clogged arteries.
By joining the Go Red for Women campaign, women can help each other learn the realities of cardiovascular health, the truth about heart disease, and the preventive measures that can save a life.
How are you showing your unique support for Go Red for Women?
Share in a comment below.