Prior to my heart attack and stroke, I always believed that the number one killer of women was cancer. While I continue to support groups such as Earlier.org, the American Heart Association has made me keenly aware that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one killer of women, claiming the lives of one in three women. In fact,
- CVD kills one woman about every 80 seconds.
- CVD is the leading cause of all maternal death.
- About four million stroke survivors alive today are women.
- More younger women than men are having heart attacks.
- New data suggests younger generations of women, Gen Z and Millennials, are less likely to be aware of their greatest health threat, including knowing the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes.
- Over 40% (about 43%) of Hispanic adult women age 20+ have CVD.
- More than half (57%) of black women have CVD.
I would not blame you for feeling sad and depressed by the above stats, so let’s move on to the good news: 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes such as moving more, eating smart, and managing blood pressure.
With that in mind, February 5th is Go Red for Women day. Now, I know what you are thinking! “But, Andy, I have enough on my schedule, please don’t tell me I have to walk a 5K or host a healthy cooking class on Feb 5th!”
Nope. Don’t worry. All I am asking you to do is a) wear something red on February 5th, b) read the Go Red for Women guide to women’s heart health, and c) share that link and/or a photo of you wearing red with the hashtag #WearRedDay (and if you are in the Triangle, NC area #GoRedTriangle).
Please join me in sharing the message that heart disease is a big risk for all women, but is also something that can be prevented!