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Heart Disease in North Dakota: A Real Lady Killer

IMAGE: This coming Friday is Wear Red Day. The annual event from the American Heart Association aims to raise awareness that heart disease is the leading killer of women. CREDIT: AHA
IMAGE: This coming Friday is Wear Red Day. The annual event from the American Heart Association aims to raise awareness that heart disease is the leading killer of women. CREDIT: AHA
February 3, 2014

FARGO, N.D. - When one mentions a heart attack, the first vision that comes to mind is often a man grasping at his chest. However, heart disease actually takes the lives of more women than men. To raise awareness of the prevalence, Dr. Rawa Sarji, a cardiologist at Sanford Health, said it is time to Go Red for Women.

"By wearing red, living a healthy lifestyle and 'speaking red:' by spreading the message that heart disease is killing our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends," Sarji said.

Friday, Feb. 7, is the American Heart Association's 10th annual Wear Red Day, when all are asked to don some red clothing to show support for women's heart health.

Women are less likely than men to call 911 if they are experiencing heart attack symptoms. Sarji said they may include the classic chest pain that radiates down the left arm, "which can be associated with sweating, shortness of breath, nausea. In women, they can present similarly. They can also present with jaw pain, dizziness, so it's very important for women to be very cognizant and, if they are having symptoms, seek immediate medical attention."

Sarji also noted steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart disease. They include quitting smoking, eating healthy food and getting exercise on a regular basis. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for nearly one-third of all deaths in the United States.

More information on "Go Red" is at http://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND