On the first Friday in February, every year men and women wear red to raise awareness and dispel the myths of heart disease, the number one killer of women. In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – heart disease. Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born.
Here are five heart disease facts from the American Heart Association in honor of National Wear Red Day:
- Fewer than 20% of women consider heart disease or stroke to be the most serious health problem they face despite it being the most common cause of mortality in women.
- Fewer than half of American women know what constitutes a healthy blood pressure or cholesterol level.
- BMI (Body Mass Index) isn’t just helpful when it comes to diets or losing weight – it’s also directly linked to your risk of heart disease.
- Contrary to popular belief, strokes, which affect the arteries linked to the brain, can happen to people of any age, not just the elderly. In fact, women are more likely than men to suffer from a stroke.
- About 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes, and the Go Red For Women campaign encourages women to take such preventive measures.