Jan/Feb 2011
Volume 7, Issue 1

National Wear Red Day

American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women™ raises awareness of two top killers of women.

Friday, February 4, 2011 is the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women™ Day. Women are encouraged to wear red in a show of support in the fight against heart disease and stroke. More women die of cardiovascular disease and stroke than the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer, and 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. Hispanic and African-American women are at particularly high risk of developing heart disease. A full 80% of cardiac events in women could be prevented if women made the right choices for their hearts involving diet, exercise, and abstinence from smoking.

Women with diabetes have two to four times higher death rates from heart disease. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it raises the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure, and half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. About 47% of American adults have high cholesterol, which can result in blocked arteries, causing the heart or brain to lose its blood supply, resulting in a heart attack or stroke.

The facts are clear: Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week can reduce the risk of heart disease. A healthy diet and lifestyle are some of the best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. The AHA recommends a diet with a wide variety of nutritious foods.

Smoking is the most preventable major risk factor of heart and blood vessel diseases. No matter how much or how long a person has smoked or when they quit smoking, their risk of heart disease and stroke starts to drop.

About 145 million American adults are overweight. Of these, more than 74 million are considered obese. Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if they are young or have no family history of heart disease. The vast majority of dental assistants are women, and thus have the potential dual role of patients and providers. The AHA welcomes the profession’s participation in sharing the cause with friends, family coworkers, and patients. Further information is available in English or Spanish, including a free, downloadable “Heart Health Kit”; go to GoRedForWomen.org/WearRedDay.

©2010, American Heart Association.

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