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Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Millions expected to wear red today for start of 'American Heart Month'

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Friday, February 2, 2024   

Today is National Wear Red Day, part of American Heart Month in February. Lots of celebrities and news anchors will be wearing red, and many iconic buildings and bridges will be lit up in crimson -- all part of a partnership with the American Heart Association.

Heart Month events draw attention to deaths from cardiovascular disease, which have been rising since the COVID pandemic. Linda Tsai, senior executive director for the American Heart Association in Los Angeles, said cardiovascular disease took 900,000 American lives last year -- 57,000 more than in 2021.

"We just did a recent survey that shows that more than half of the people in the U.S. don't know that heart disease is the number one cause of death," she said, "and that it actually claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined."

The survey also showed that only 44% of women realize heart disease is the number one health issue they should be looking out for. The American Heart Association also advises women to keep an eye on their blood pressure, which is a key indicator of heart disease. They have placed blood pressure monitors in public libraries and are working with health clinics to distribute blood pressure cuffs that can be used at home.

Tsai said sudden cardiac arrest turns fatal more often for women.

"For sudden cardiac arrest, a woman is less likely to receive CPR from a bystander than a man," she said. "Too many women die from cardiac arrest due to the lack of awareness, and partly because people are afraid to touch them."

This year, the American Heart Association celebrates its 100th anniversary. In 2023, it led a successful campaign to ban candy-flavored chewing tobacco. This year, Tsai said it will be working on proposals to tackle food insecurity and make sure schools are prepared to react in cardiac emergencies.

Disclosure: American Heart Association Western States Region contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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