Wear Red! National Wear Red Day

Wear Red Day is always the first Friday in February, which is American Heart Month, and raises awareness about heart disease.

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Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 3 deaths, making it the leading cause of death in the United States.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute established National Wear Red Day to help bring awareness to the fact that approximately 650,000 people in the U.S. die every year from heart disease.

Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a man's disease, in the U.S. it affects just as many women as men, and almost as many women as men die each year of heart disease (~315,000 and ~335,000, respectively). Point of fact, women die from heart attacks more often than men. This prompted the American Heart Association Go Red for Women campaign.

AHA Go Red for Women

"From landmarks to online communities, neighborhoods to news anchors, this annual groundswell unites millions of people for a common goal: the eradication of heart disease and stroke. Wear red to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and help save lives. Why? Because losing even one woman to cardiovascular disease is too many."

Facts on women and heart disease

Despite an increase in awareness over the past decades, only about half (56%) of women recognize that heart disease is their number one killer. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 314,186 women in 2020—or about 1 in every 5 female deaths.

Black and Hispanic women are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease than White women, and American Indian women are 1.5 times more likely. This is because they experience a higher burden of cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, and less access to quality healthcare. For Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian women, heart disease is second only to cancer as a cause of death.

Symptoms

About 1 in 16 women age 20 and older (6.2%) have coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease in the United States.

Sometimes heart disease may be “silent” and not diagnosed until there are other symptoms or emergencies, including:

  • Heart attack

  • Arrhythmia

  • Fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations)

  • Heart failure

  • Shortness of breath, fatigue, or swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, or neck veins

What you can do to help your loved one

Whether your loved one already has heart disease or is trying to prevent it, here is a list of the many things you can help them do to reduce their risk.

  • Manage stress levels

  • Track blood pressure (persistent high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease)

  • Screen for diabetes

  • Track cholesterol status

  • Quit smoking

  • Stay physically active

  • Choose healthy foods and drinks

  • Limit alcohol intake

RESOURCES

American Heart Association (AHA)

AHA Journals

CDC

Cedars-Sinai

Cleveland Clinic

No content in this app, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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