ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
When it comes to beating heart disease and stroke, change can be the cure. To save lives and raise awareness of this serious issue, the American Heart Association launched Go Red For Women. And the red dress has become the iconic symbol of our battle against heart disease and stroke in women.
"Each year, one in three women die of heart disease and stroke, and the numbers in Southwest Health District are that high or even higher, particularly among women of color," said Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.
"The message we want to spread is that 80% of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes," she said. "National Wear Red Day, the first Friday in February, is a day to raise awareness about this situation. We encourage women to wear red, learn their cardiovascular risk and take action to live longer, healthier lives."
Heart disease symptoms in women often differ from those in men. "While some women have no symptoms of heart disease, others get dull, heavy to sharp chest pain or discomfort; pain in the neck, jaw or throat; or pain in the upper abdomen or back," she said.
Risk factors for heart disease and heart attack include:
· Diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure
· Smoking, poor diet, obesity, excess alcohol consumption and being physically inactive
"Women can lower their risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke by taking simple steps every day," Grant said. Her recommendations were:
· Eat a healthy diet
· Be active, exercise regularly
· Maintain a healthy weight
· Be tobacco-free
· Limit alcohol use
· Manage medical conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) and get regular health screenings