Cardio Campaign Kicks Off in February
Heart Association Targets Half Million Annual Female Victims of Heart Disease
February 9th, 2004
By Ken McGrath : eCureMe Staff Writer
February 7th, 2004 : Physician Reviewed
The impetus behind the American Heart Association’s (AHA) new spin on American
Heart Month is stark; cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among
women - claiming almost 500,000 each year - and surveys show that
two-thirds of women don’t know it.
To raise awareness, the AHA - along with Macy’s, Pfizer, Glamour
Magazine and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLI) - are
launching the national Go Red For Women campaign to complement American Heart
Month. First Lady Laura Bush has been active in the effort. She appeared on CBS’
The Early Show early in the month to promote awareness. "We’re trying to get
the word out to women all over the country and to doctors as well,"she told
co-anchor Rene Syler.
Red, the campaign’s emblematic color, is a symbol of women and heart disease
according to the AHA.
Any color that makes an association between women and heart disease is a step forward.
Media reports have noted the widespread perception that heart attacks and strokes
are as men’s problems. In reality, the afflictions are responsible for more
deaths in women than men.
Such frightening numbers could be reduced if women were more conscious of their heart
disease risk factors. High cholesterol levels can narrow vital arteries and prime a
person’s cardiovascular system for a breakdown. High blood pressure contributes
by making the heart work harder, leaving it more vulnerable to injury. Tobacco use,
diabetes, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are also all variables that women can
control to lower their risk. Further risk factors - age and family history of
cardiovascular disease - are largely out of women’s hands, but it’s
helpful to be aware of them when assessing risk.
Losing weight, quitting smoking, moderating diet and increasing exercise are all
important steps in preventing heart disease, counsels the AHA. But they’re
especially important for women. Because women’s hearts and coronary arteries
are generally smaller than men’s, procedures that remedy heart disease after
it’s reached a critical stage - such as bypass surgery - are more
difficult to perform.
More information on American Heart Month and Go Red For Women campaign events and
advice is available from the American Heart Association’s website at
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