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One in three. That’s the price women pay for cardiovascular disease. While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, heart diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. That’s a third of mothers, sisters, and friends.  

It’s time to change this fact. A woman you know and love may be affected by cardiovascular disease – at any age. It is the number 1 killer of women, nationally and in Louisiana. However, African American women are disproportionately affected due to strong family history of high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, African American women are less likely to know of these statistics than other races, and only 52 percent of African American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Heart disease now claims more lives than all cancers combined. 

On Feb. 1, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women® movement will celebrate the Annual National Wear Red Day. Women can raise awareness of their number one killer – heart disease – by wearing red, donating to fund research and life-saving education programs that increase heart disease prevention and reduce heart attacks, and making a difference in their community by taking action and volunteering. 

There are other things you can do to take action, while also wearing your red on Feb 1: 

Be aware. Know your numbers (total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index) and talk to your doctor to lower your heart health risk.

Move more and Eat smart. Make physical activity and healthy eating a priority by joining the #GoRedGetFit team on Facebook and sharing with your Facebook friends.

Manage blood pressure. Get it checked and if you have high blood pressure, commit to monitoring it regularly through the American Heart Association’s Check. Change. Control. Tracker.

Our community has a unique voice, and each one is needed to spread the word about the number one killer of women. Consider using your social media to:

List and tag 3 women you cant live without on your social media, use the hashtags #NOLAGoRed  #WearRedDay  #1in3, and challenge your friends to do the same.

Post about why or how you won’t be #1in3 and use #NOLAGoRed  

The Go Red for Women campaign and National Wear Red Day is more than a message. It’s a nationwide movement that celebrates the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke. It’s an easy, powerful way to spread awareness and support the mission of Go Red for Women, which is to provide them with opportunities to prioritize and take charge of their own health; build communities that support and provide access to healthy choices; demand equal access to healthcare for all women and their families; and increase women in STEM in future generations. 

Today, more women than ever recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. But the work is far from over.

Heart disease and stroke claim the life of a woman every 80 seconds. Simply stated, there is no greater killer of American women. More specifically, of African American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases. We need to rally together as a community to make preventative care of heart disease a top priority. Believing you are low risk for heart disease is not enough for a killer that does not discriminate against age, race, social status, neighborhood or gender. Wear your red on Feb. 1. 

Content printed  in partnership with the American Heart Association.

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