Pennsylvania to Go Red on National Wear Red Day; American Heart Association celebrates February as American Heart Month

The American Heart Associationís Go Red for Women movement invites women and men, companies and cities across Pennsylvania to go red on Feb. 7 in celebration of National Wear Red Day. Companies and landmarks throughout Pennsylvania, including the state Capitol, will go red to raise awareness about the number one killer of women, heart disease. National Wear Red Day kicks off the celebration of American Heart Month throughout February.

Individuals can participate in National Wear Red Day on Feb. 7 by wearing red clothing, accessories or the Red Dress pin. Companies can participate by encouraging their employees to wear red, decorating the office in red and offering heart health information. Businesses and landmarks are encouraged to go red by using red exterior lighting, featuring red merchandise on display, or displaying a Red Dress window cling. National Wear Red Day supporters are encouraged upload their go red photos to the National Wear Red Day website as part of the America Goes Red Challenge. For more information and ideas about participating in National Wear Red Day, or to upload photos, visit www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday.

Over the past decade of the Go Red for Women campaign and National Wear Red Day, tremendous strides have been made in the fight against heart disease in women, including:

21 percent fewer women dying from heart disease;

23 percent more women aware that heart disease is their number one health threat;

publishing of gender-specific research results, established differences in symptoms and responses to medications and women-specific guidelines for prevention and treatment; and legislation to help end gender disparities.

Heart disease is still womenís number one killer, yet only one in five women believe that heart disease is their greatest health threat. It affects more women than men and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.

Cardiovascular diseases cause one in three womenís deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. An estimated 43 million women in the United States are affected by cardiovascular disease, and 90 percent of women have on or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

There are seven key lifestyle changes that can make a big impact on improving heart health.

∑Donít smoke

∑Manage your blood sugar

∑Get your blood pressure under control

∑Know your family history

∑Stay active

∑Lose weight

∑Eat healthy

The first step toward better heart health should be a visit with a doctor to discuss personal risk factors for heart disease, including family history, and if any lifestyle changes are recommended. A doctor can also perform basic screenings, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, and monitor these numbers regularly.

The Go Red for Women movement is sponsored nationally by Macyís. For more information about womenís heart disease and the Go Red for Women campaign, visit www.goredforwomen.org.

From the American Heart Association.