-- E.J. Mundell
THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are being urged
to look through their closets for anything crimson, scarlet or
apple-red to wear Friday, in support of the American Heart
Association's annual Go Red for Women campaign.
National Wear Red Day -- now in its 10th year -- is aimed at
raising awareness of heart disease, the leading killer of
"An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease, yet only one in five women believe heart disease is her greatest health threat," Dr. Jennifer Mieres, a professor of cardiology and senior vice president of community and public health at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Lake Success, N.Y., said in an American Heart Association statement.
Celebrities are also taking part in the campaign. Allison
Janney, star of TV's
The West Wingand movies such as
The Help, said she was "shocked to learn that heart disease
is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
"My mother's quadruple bypass surgery was an eye-opening experience," Janney said in the news release. "I'm now making heart-healthy changes to reduce my own risk, and have joined with Go Red for Women to educate other women about what they can do."
This year, the American Heart Association is asking for more
than Americans' attire to turn red on Friday. Across the country,
landmarks and buildings will be dressed in the color, starting with
the iconic Macy's Herald Square building in New York City, which
plans to "go red" Thursday evening.
Even though the American Heart Association estimates that the Go
Red for Women campaign has already raised awareness and saved more
than 627,000 lives since its inception, the statistics on women and
heart disease remain grim:
Despite the death toll, many women still remain unaware of the
threat. According to the American Heart Association, only one in
five women know that heart disease is the leading killer of women,
and they also comprise just 24 percent of participants in
heart-related studies, the association noted.
But there are things every woman can do to reduce her risk for
heart trouble. According to the American Heart Association, women
who say they have been made more aware of the dangers through the
Go Red campaign typically made healthy changes. For example, more
than a third said they have lost excess pounds, more than half said
they are exercising more and a third said they have talked to their
physicians about developing a "heart health plan."
"It's so important to understand your personal risk factors and often overlooked common symptoms, and to share that information with the women you love," Mieres said.
Janney agreed, noting that there is strength in numbers as women
come together to fight heart disease. "Together," she said, "women
have the power to save our own lives."
Find out about Go Red for Women
events in your
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