When we think of heart disease we usually think of it as a man’s problem. For women, the focus is normally on the pink–breast cancer. While cancers do claim many lives each year, heart disease and stroke are the number one cause of death in women. What makes this all the more startling is that according to the American Heart Association, 80% of all cardiac events in women can be prevented. That’s where Go Red comes in.
Go Red is an education campaign that is now in its 13th year. The goal of the campaign is to educate all of us on the dangers of heart disease in women and what we can do about it.
Why Go Red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. That’s why this year we are asking that you wear red on National Wear Red Day® and Donate to Go Red For Woman. By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health.
The number one thing you can do is to LEARN more about the issue of heart disease in women. The signs of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke can be difficult to diagnose and do not necessarily follow what we often think of. Of course, wearing red would be nice too.
History of National Wear Red Day®
In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute joined forces to create a campaign to raise awareness of heart disease in women. The campaign that resulted, Go Red, is now in its 13th year. The first Friday of February is now set aside to promote education and awareness of the problem of heart disease in women and what we can do about it.
Women and heart disease (from the Heart Foundation):
- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
- While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.
- Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
- Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
- An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
- The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men and are often misunderstood.
National Wear Red Day® Resources
- American Heart Association
- Go Red For Women
- National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
- Office of Women’s Health