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American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month, and to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease the American Heart Association is promoting “Go Red for Women” on Friday, February 4.  
 
Why wear red? Heart disease is the number one killer of women. One in three women die as the result of heart disease or stroke. This amounts to approximately one woman every minute. Yet, it’s 80 percent preventable. 
 
Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease. Heart disease includes the various problems that affect the blood vessels and cardiovascular system. Many of these problems are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where plaque builds up on the walls of the arteries, constricting or even stopping blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or a stroke. Other causes for heart disease include congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems.  
 
Those that consider themselves healthy often misdiagnose the symptoms of a heart attack because they don’t think it could happen to them. The most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. But, women also experience other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Signs of a stroke include face drooping, arm weakness, and speech difficulty. 
 
According to studies, 330 fewer women die from heart disease every day because of healthy choices. These choices include staying active, eating healthy, and knowing your family history. Lifestyle changes, like not smoking and managing blood pressure and cholesterol, are other crucial preventative measures. Committing to heart-healthy lifestyle changes is important; put your heart into it. 
 

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