We’re Going Red! The Healthcare News Supports Women’s Heart Health

For the second straight year, the February issue of The Healthcare News has gone red. Here’s why.

Go Red for Women is a nationwide initiative sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA), intended to raise awareness that heart disease is America’s number-one killer. In fact, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases claim the lives of more than 480,000 women each year — about one death per minute, more than the next five causes of death combined.

This month, The Healthcare News brings attention to the issue of heart disease and stroke with a selection of close-to-home articles. They include profiles of two women who were unexpectedly beset by a heart attack and a stroke, respectively; an overview of the Start! program, which encourages area women to make healthy lifestyle choices; and a look at Baystate Medical Center’s Heart Failure Program, which is extending lives, and improving quality of life, for heart failure sufferers.

Since its inception three years ago, the Go Red for Women campaign has grown into a vibrant national movement, as women, men, celebrities, health care providers, and politicians embrace the cause of women’s health and battling heart disease.

Specifically, the campaign raises awareness of heart health and provides women with tips and information on healthy eating, exercise, and risk-factor reduction, such as smoking cessation, weight maintenance, blood pressure control, and blood-cholesterol management.

The AHA also promotes National Wear Red Day, this year slated for Friday, Feb. 2. On that day, millions of Americans will wear red to show their support for women and the fight against heart disease. Additionally, cities across the country will Go Red by illuminating monuments, landmarks, and major buildings in that color.

Women are also encouraged to log onto www.goredforwomen.org and take the Go Red Heart CheckUp, which is an online, personal heart disease risk assessment. When completed, women are advised to print the assessment and bring it to their health care provider to develop a personal plan that matches their needs.

“We can no longer ignore heart disease,” said Dr. Jennifer Mieres, national spokesperson for Go Red for Women and director of Nuclear Cardiology at New York University of School and Medicine. “While awareness is important, it’s time for women to take action now, by taking the Go Red Heart CheckUp and learning how to protect their hearts.”

To further support the cause, the AHA encourages people to visit the Web site www.shopgored.org to purchase from a selection of educational items and clothing. Proceeds from the sale of all items support Go Red for Women.

The Healthcare News encourages women — and men as well — to take their heart health seriously and make decisions that will contribute to long and healthy lives.