Go Red Day, Health, Heart Health, Red Stilletos, Stroke, Women and Heart Attacks

Do You Want to Have A Heart Attack?

We may say “Of course not,” but are we really doing all we can to prevent our risk of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke?

If you missed all the red dresses, lapel pins, scarves, and cool high heels on Feburary 1st, 2013, that was the tenth anniversary of National Go Red Day.

This is a day created to shine a spotlight on heart disease in women. But one day is just the start of the entire month of heart health awareness.

Heart disease strikes more women than breast cancer. It is the number one killer of women…

That’s right, one of every 31 women will die from breast cancer, and one in three will die of heart disease-

                   one a minute

That’s scary, especially when you can lower your risk by 80%: 

  • lower high cholesterol, 
  • reduce high blood pressure, 
  • eliminate smoking, 
  • stay near goal weight, 
  • 30 minutes of physical activity
  • control diabetes 
The other 20 % of risk comes from factors we can’t change: family history and age.

In the past 12 years, younger women are having heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks. A study*, which followed 1.4 million heart attack patients for 12 years, found that 42 percent of the women experienced a heart attack without any chest pain, compared to 30 percent of the men in the study. Heart attacks also led to death in more of these women — 

“…possibly because they didn’t think they were having a heart attack in the first place, and therefore put off going to the hospital.” 

Most of the women with these atypical symptoms were younger (less than 55 years old).

So what are the symptoms? 

In addition to chest pain and discomfort,watch for:
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or numbness in places like your jaw, arms, stomach, or back
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Breaking out into a cold sweat

Doctors say that many women think they are stressed, or have a pinched nerve, or have the flu, so they never go to the hospital. Sort of like the woman in this comedy sketch:

But in all seriousness, do you know what to look for in a person who may have just had a stroke?

Help yourself, and others, by remembering the acronym F.A.S.T: (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) or 
get the iPhone App “Spot a Stroke,” if that will make it easier.

There are still 20 some days left in this month, plenty of time to create new habits. 

Now that you have the information how will you take care of your heart this month (and every month)? I know there some very cool red high heels just waiting for you. 

*Journal of the American Heart Association 2011