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South Dakotans Encouraged To Go Red

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, taking the lives of one in three women. (promedicahealthconnect.org)
Heart disease is the number one killer of women, taking the lives of one in three women. (promedicahealthconnect.org)
February 1, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Friday is National Wear Red Day, and since the observation was introduced 14 years ago, 360 fewer women die each day from a heart attack or stroke.

The two events are still the leading cause of death for women and the reason National Wear Red Day raises awareness about cardiovascular disease.

American Heart Association spokeswoman Chrissy Meyer says while family history, age and gender can't be changed, lifestyle choices can make a difference.

"But what we can control are really those key numbers or those things that contribute to heart health and that's total cholesterol, your HDL cholesterol number, your blood pressure, your blood sugar and your body mass index," she points out.

Funds raised through promotional activities support educational programs to increase women's awareness and improve scientific understanding about heart health.

One in three women dies of heart disease but only one in five knows it's the leading cause of death for women.

Meyer says women need to be aware that they often have different symptoms than men when experiencing heart problems.

"This pressure in my shoulder blades that won't go away, maybe it's not a backache, maybe it's my heart,” she explains. “And so helping women understand that if there's something that just doesn't seem right, they've got to go get it checked out."

Meyer says even though 80 percent of cardiovascular disease can be preventable, about 2,200 Americans die of heart disease each day.

She adds that making better food choices and getting exercise boost health in many ways.

"Things that you can do to minimize your risk of heart disease and stroke also conveniently minimize your risk for other chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes – kind of a bargain deal if you're taking care of your heart oftentimes you're going to minimize your risk for some of these other diseases," she says.

Find tips for living a healthier lifestyle at heart.org.


Roz Brown, Public News Service - SD