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National Wear Red Day Kicks Off American Heart Month

“Symptoms of a heart attack can range from no symptoms, to chest pain or pressure that may or may not radiate to the neck jaw or arm.”

National Wear Red Day Kicks Off American Heart Month
Celebrity models gather at the end of the runway at Go Red For Women - The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection 2014 Show on February 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo Credit: fashionstock.com / shutterstock.com)

Feb. 1 is National Wear Red Day, a campaign for the American Heart Association‘s Go Red for Women initiative. The goal is to bring awareness to women’s heart health and improve the lives of women worldwide.

According to triblive.com, heart disease is not just a men’s disease, it is also the leading killer of women. Statistically, heart disease and stroke account for about 1 in 3 deaths of women each year; that is a ratio that can be drastically reduced through education and lifestyle changes.

“It is important to wear red, because it signifies to heart disease what pink does to breast cancer,” said Dr. Venkatraman Srinivasan, an interventional cardiologist. “And what better color than red to represent the heart? I always ask my patients, ‘Do you know your numbers?’”

The numbers reference blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

“Sugar is the new fat. We also talk about exercise,” Srinivasan said. “Simple steps such as walking more or using a stand-up desk can help. Also, eating a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is important. Don’t stop at a fast food drive-through and then sit in front of the television all night. Don’t smoke, and get regular checkups.”

Women are more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.
Excela Health cardiologist Maliha Zahid said, “Symptoms of a heart attack can range from no symptoms to chest pain or pressure that may or may not radiate to the neck jaw or arms. It may just present as episodic shortness of breath and/or fatigue and exercise intolerance. In women, symptoms are more likely to be atypical and unusual.”

Women can reduce the risk of heart disease through a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and legumes. In addition, they should ideally get in three sessions of 30-minute workouts each week.

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